Apartment Blocks Under Quarantine After Myanmar Finds Two More COVID-19 Cases

By Zarni Mann & Zaw Zaw Htwe 27 March 2020

YANGON and MANDALAY — Apartment buildings where Myanmar’s latest COVID-19 patients lived are under quarantine after two men tested positive on Friday.

The country’s health ministry confirmed that a 69-year-old in Yangon and a 33-year-old in Mandalay had the disease. Both men recently arrived from overseas.

Myanmar reported its first case early this week and now has five confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Following the government’s announcement on Friday, an eight-story building in Yangon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township has been put under 14-day quarantine.

The man arrived on March 14 from Australia, where he received a month’s medical treatment for nasal cancer. On his way home, he stopped in Singapore for four days. He suffered from a fever, cough and sore throat shortly after arriving in Yangon and was admitted to hospital for observation.

On Friday, the building and its grounds have been disinfected.

The township’s lawmaker, U Hla Htay, told The Irrawaddy that his daughter, nephew and drivers were under observation at the Waibargi Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yangon.

“Now we have assigned community volunteers to isolate the building and support those inside,” he said.

In Mandalay, the regional government has quarantined a building in Chanmyathazi Township.

The US citizen arrived on March 19 with Qatar Airways. He spent a night in Yangon before heading to Mandalay by bus.

Five of his relatives are under quarantine at Kandawnadi Hospital, according to the township’s lawmaker, U Myint Aung Moe.

He said about 80 people in the 18 apartments in the building were under quarantine and their health would be monitored.

“They all are now ordered to follow home quarantine and the authorities will make sure they stay at home. Daily health checks will be carried out,” said the lawmaker.

The man had a cough, sore throat and high temperature and was admitted to Mandalay General Hospital on March 25. He is now under isolation at Kandawnadi Hospital.

The hospital said the patient had swellings on his lungs but was in a stable condition.

The regional government asked everyone who had contact with him, including his taxi driver, bus driver and the passengers on his flight and bus, to report to a clinic.

So far Myanmar has cases in Yangon’s Wabagi hospital, Insein Hospital and Yangon General Hospital, one case in Mandalay Kandawnadi Hospital and another in Tedim Hospital in Chin State.

As of Thursday night, 20 people suspected of having the disease were under observation, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

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