COVID-19 Claims Three More Lives in Myanmar-India Border Town

By The Irrawaddy 4 June 2021

Three more people died of COVID-19 in the town of Cikha in Chin State’s Tonzang Township on Thursday, according to the township’s Public Health Department.

167 COVID-19 cases resulting in five deaths have been reported in Tonzang since last Sunday. The township borders India, where a new variant of coronavirus has been circulating nationwide, prompting fears that it has spread into Myanmar.

The victims were two men, aged 70 and 62, and a 54-year-old woman. They died of COVID-19-inflicted lung failure. Two of the patients had no underlying health conditions, but the other had chronic lung problems and high blood pressure, according to the head of Cikha’s town health department, Dr. Htan Shin Khaing.

One of the male patients was admitted to Cikha hospital on May 21 and the other two were admitted on May 26.

COVID-19 cases have also spiked in Tamu Township, which also shares a frontier with India, and Kalaymyo in neighbouring Sagaing Region. Myanmar’s military regime has imposed stay-at-home orders on Tonzang, Tamu and Kalaymyo townships.

A total of 87 people died of COVID-19 between the junta’s Feb. 1 coup and June 2, according to regime-controlled television.

Myanmar started to see a gradual decline in COVID-19 infections last December, with a few hundred cases being reported per day, down from a daily peak of 1,400 in previous months.

However, far fewer tests have been carried out following the coup as healthcare workers are refusing to work for the regime, resulting in only dozens of new infections being reported daily.

Since May 27, hundreds of new cases have been reported in Yangon, Bago, Ayeyarwady, Mandalay, Sagaing and Tanintharyi regions and Shan, Chin, Mon, Rakhine and Karen states.

Myanmar recorded 143,823 COVID-19 cases, with 3,218 deaths and 132,388 people recovering, from Mar. 23 last year to June 2 this year, according to the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports.

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