KIA to Carry Out Extensive COVID-19 Tests in Northern Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 28 July 2021

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) says it will carry out extensive COVID-19 tests in Laiza after coronavirus cases were reported in two displacement camps near its headquarters.

The armed group’s COVID-19 prevention and control committee on Wednesday asked people to stay at home until further notice.

“Health workers said everyone in every house, both adults and children, will be tested for coronavirus. The majority of residents have already received COVID-19 jabs. They are apparently doing tests as a preventative measure because of recent infections,” said a Laiza resident.

The KIA’s COVID-19 committee urged residents to report if they get sick, warning that punitive action will be taken against those who fail to cooperate.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the KIA has restricted entry to Laiza and Maijayang, another town controlled by the KIA on the Chinese border since the first week of July. However, hundreds of people, mostly students, were infected with the virus in Maijayang.

The KIA has vaccinated some 30,000 people or around 30 percent of the population in Laiza and Maijayang with COVID-19 vaccines donated by China.

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