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Quarantined Workers Will Be Moved Before Rain Comes

Kambaiti border pass in Kachin State, northern Burma.

The Kachin State government will transfer hundreds of migrant workers staying in a rudimentary quarantine facility in northern Kachin State to more appropriate locations before the rainy season starts.

Zaw Win, who is the state minister of immigration and human resources, told KNG the space in Kambaiti doesn’t provide adequate protection against the elements and the government will send the returning workers to Waingmaw and Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State. Where they are sleeping is “just a shelter with a plastic roof. We have to take care of the health of the returnees” doing their 21-day quarantine. He said it will be cold when the rain comes, and their shelter won’t withstand a storm.

There are more than 400 returning workers from China in Kambaiti.

The central government hasn’t allotted a budget for any of the quarantine facilities across the country, Zaw Win said. With more than 200 facilities across Kachin State “it’s a big burden for the state government.” Although donors are providing some food, returnees are expected to pay for their food out of pocket during their stay.

In downtown Myitkyina there will be 250 people quarantined between May 11-31. Zaw Win said it will cost more than US$7,923 (11 million kyat) to provide at least 63 bags of rice to feed everyone. The combined expenditure is estimated at US$10,800 (15 million kyat).

There are already 5,346 workers that have returned from China staying at 260 quarantine centers across Kachin State.

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