Chinese Visitor to Myanmar Tests Negative for Coronavirus, Released After Four Days of Quarantine

By The Irrawaddy 3 February 2020

YANGON—A 56-year-old Chinese man who quarantined in Yangon on Friday on suspicion of carrying the coronavirus after arriving on a flight from Guangzhou has been released from the hospital after his symptoms cleared up and test results showed him to be virus-free, according to Myanmar’s Health Ministry.

The man had been under observation in an isolation ward at a communicable disease hospital in northern Yangon since Friday.

The Ministry of Health and Sports announced in a statement on Monday that lab tests conducted in Thailand on samples taken from the man’s nose and throat showed he was negative for the new coronavirus.

“His health condition is improving. So, he was discharged from the hospital,” the hospital said.

The statement added that two Myanmar nationals on the same flight as the Chinese man who had also been quarantined were also released, as they were in good health.

So far, the virus has killed 361 people in China. The number of infections has increased to 2,829 while the number of suspected cases has topped 20,000, China’s National Health Commission said.

On Sunday, the Philippines reported that a Chinese person had died in the country due to the virus, becoming the first fatality outside China.

Bordered by China to the north and east, Myanmar has in recent years seen an influx of Chinese visitors due to the flourishing Chinese-backed businesses in the country and China’s booming outbound tourism industry.

As of Sunday afternoon, Myanmar had five suspected cases of coronavirus, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The latest was a 29-year-old Chinese man in the country’s capital Naypyitaw, who was hospitalized with a high body temperature, cough and runny nose after returning from Guangzhou on Jan. 31. He was referred to the capital’s General Hospital, where he is being observed in an isolation ward. Respiratory swabs were collected from the man and sent to a lab.

On Monday morning, his condition was stable, and his fever and cough had eased, according to Naypyitaw’s Public Health Department.  

Additionally, a 26-year-old South Korean man who entered Myanmar from Chiang Mai in mid-January, and a 2-year-old Myanmar girl who arrived in Mandalay from Kunming, China on Jan. 31 have been designated as “persons under investigation” after they were found to have a cough and high fever.  

As of Sunday, Myanmar had yet to report any confirmed coronavirus infections inside the country.

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