Asian Insider

Covid-19 exacerbates looming Myanmar refugee crisis

Regional countries need to ensure access to asylum while protecting public health

A handout photo from the Royal Thai Army on March 30 showing an injured Myanmar refugee being put on a stretcher before being taken to a hospital in Mae Sam Lap town after he crossed the Salween River while fleeing from air strikes in Myanmar's easte
A handout photo from the Royal Thai Army on March 30 showing an injured Myanmar refugee being put on a stretcher before being taken to a hospital in Mae Sam Lap town after he crossed the Salween River while fleeing from air strikes in Myanmar's eastern Karen state. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Massive refugee movements are a challenge in themselves, but managing them in a global pandemic is especially daunting.

That is the prospect facing Myanmar's neighbours as a violent crackdown by the military regime has sent city residents fleeing to the frontiers, and air raids have pushed thousands across the border into Thailand.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2021, with the headline 'Covid-19 exacerbates looming Myanmar refugee crisis'. Subscribe