Eight Test Negative for COVID-19 After Contact with Infected Myanmar Factory Interpreter

By Thazin Hlaing 27 April 2020

Yangon — Eight people who came into close contact with a coronavirus-infected interpreter at a shoe factory with 9,000 employees in Yangon have tested negative for COVID-19, according to the regional minister of immigration and human resources, Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi.

There were fears of a coronavirus outbreak at Tsang Yih factory in Hlaing Tharyar Township and across the wider community.

The factory owner, a doctor and nurse at the factory’s clinic, a doctor and radiographer at a private clinic, two taxi drivers and the interpreter’s two roommates were tested for the virus.

“The regional health department has officially informed us that those eight tested negative,” Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi told The Irrawaddy.

Another 38 factory employees, who live in the same quarters as their infected colleague, have also been tested and the results are not yet available. The accommodation block has been placed under lockdown.

Head of Hlaing Tharyar Township health department Dr. Khin Yu Par Soe confirmed that around 150 people, who came into contact with the infected employee, will be tested for the virus.

“The results will be available in a couple of days,” she told The Irrawaddy on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Health and Sports, the 24-year-old interpreter – the 144th confirmed COVID-19 patient in Myanmar – had traveled overseas but had no recorded contact with other cases.

He developed a cough on April 4 and returned to his home in Mohnyin in Kachin State using a rented car on April 15.

The shoe factory closed from April 10-19 for the Thingyan holidays and resumed operations last week after it met health ministry requirements to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, following the report of the interpreter’s infection, the factory was again closed temporarily.

The ministry said Myanmar had 146 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, 10 recoveries and five deaths.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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