Two elderly people originally from Kanchanaburi were found living homeless at a gas station parking lot in Pattaya recently, unable to go back to their hometown after bus services have essentially been stopped around Thailand, especially in maximum control zones like Chonburi due to Covid-19.
Mr. Panya Pamornwong, 54, and his partner Ms. Nipa Srinuan, 62, have been staying in a gas station parking lot near the Chiayapruek Intersection.
They told The Pattaya News, “We used to work at a restaurant before the restaurant closed due to Covid -19 restrictions that ban dine-in. We are now unemployed. We want to go back to our hometown in Kanchanaburi as we have no idea when restaurants will be able to return to normal and the situation is getting worse locally.”
“We were planning to return home to Kanchanaburi before Chonburi province issued interprovincial restrictions. There was no public transportation between dark red zone provinces and we can’t afford an expensive private taxi or minivan.” Panya explained.
“Pattaya people are very kind. They let us stay in a local gas station and gave us food and drink while we are waiting to go back home here. We don’t have any relatives or people to assist us to get back home, we can only rely on ourselves.”
Mr. Panya has personal health issues and has problems with his legs and eyes. They both said they are very lucky that still have food to eat and place to stay.
A team of Pattaya city authorities led by Mr. Passakown Yusomboon who is a consultant of the Pattaya City Mayor visited the pair after seeing their story highlighted on Thai language media.
Mr. Passakown told The Pattaya News, “We saw them on Thai language news so we came here to ask them to stay at a place we can provide in Naklua but they have refused. They said they are fine and they can stay here.”
“We then contacted rescue workers and provincial authorities in Kanchanaburi to send them back to their hometown with special permission documents for traveling,” Passakown concluded.
The stranded pair have been given special transportation back to their hometown with the assistance of authorities and are no longer living in the parking lot of a local gas station.
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