Government accused of overcharging for Covid tests

THAILAND: Activists have accused Thai authorities of profiteering and discrimination against migrant workers who are forced to take regular Covid-19 tests.

Thai regulations require aspiring or continuing migrant workers to take a Covid-19 test priced at THB 3,000 (USD 90). Migrants are also required to pay for health checks, health insurance, and other fees for the identification card and work permit. This adds up to more than THB 9,000 (USD 273), an amount beyond the means of most migrant workers, the activists have noted..

“It seems to me that the government’s policymakers treat workers as if they were a problem, a group that needs to be tightly regulated and forced to obey,” Sai Tip Awan from the Human Rights and Development Foundation in Chiang Mai said.

Referring to expatriates with special visas, he added, “And to stay here, migrant workers have to pay two to three times what tourists and foreign nationals holding Non-O or Non-B visas do.”

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