IOM Myanmar COVID-19 Response Situation Report 12, 26 October 2020

Returns of international migrants continued through land border checkpoints from mid-August to mid-October, but at a decreased rate, with 19,619 (12,254 men, 7,362 women) returns from Thailand from 16 August to 21 October. From 22 March to 21 October, a total of 167,798 migrants (75,852 women, 47,478 men) returned to Myanmar from Thailand, China and Lao PDR. An additional 6,681 Myanmar nationals returned via Government-assisted relief flights from various countries around the world from 16 August to 4 October. A total of 18,921 Myanmar nationals returned via Governmentassisted relief flights from 8 April to 4 October.

Migration pathways remained highly restricted during this period, with deployment of migrant workers on-hold to major countries of destination, including Thailand. Significant numbers of irregular migrants were intercepted by Thai authorities trying to enter Thailand through irregular means, with Thai authorities reporting arrests of 4,839 Myanmar migrants from 15 June to 10 September 2020, along with 51 smugglers.

Myanmar began and continues experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases starting in mid-August, with the first cases identified in Sittwe in mid-August and most states/regions identifying positive cases by late August/early September.

Stay at Home orders aiming to slow down local COVID-19 transmission began to be issued starting on 27 August, with several townships across the country, including in Rakhine State (27 August to date), Yangon (2 September to date); Mon State, Mandalay, Bago and Ayeyarwady regions (26 September to date); and Kachin State (20 October to date) remaining under Stay at Home orders. Although concrete data is unavailable, the restrictions have affected large numbers of internal migrants’ access to livelihoods and incomes, as well as protective and health services.


Source: International Organization for Migration