Lockdown Lifted in Village That Reported Myanmar's First COVID-19 Case

By Zarni Mann 15 May 2020

MANDALAY – The Chin State government on Friday lifted the lockdown in Keptel Village in Tedim Township, where one of the country’s first COVID-19 cases was reported.

Keptel was placed under community quarantine on March 21, after one of the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 patients, a 36-year-old groom-to-be who had recently returned from the US, visited the village and held prayer services there ahead of his wedding. The village was placed in lockdown on March 23.

However, government officials said some other restrictions such as travel restrictions are still imposed.

“We’ve lifted the lockdown. The locals can go outside of the village but they will not be allowed to stay outside of their village overnight. And they must wear masks, wash their hands and take their body temperature whenever they go out or come back,” U Soe Htet, the Chin State municipal minister, told The Irrawaddy.

Travel restrictions are still imposed in Chin State, especially in Tedim and Hakha, where confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported.

The groom was discharged from Tedim Hospital at the end of April, after laboratory results showed he tested negative for COVID-19.

Four confirmed cases in Tedim, all of whom had contact with the groom, have recovered and tested negative and are awaiting for another lab result at Tedim Hospital. One other case in Hakha also tested negative after making a recovery and was discharged from Hakha Hospital. However, she has to stay in hotel quarantine until a final lab test shows a negative result.

“We took another swab today of all the cases in Tedim. If they test negative this time, we will discharge them from the hospital and will keep them in hotel quarantine. The case in Hakha was given a final swab test,” U Soe Htet added.

Chin State has recorded six positive cases, including Case No. 1, the groom. Four cases related to Case No. 1 are being treated at Tedim General Hospital. Case No. 150, who tested positive after coming back from China, was being treated at Hakha General Hospital.

Meanwhile, in Kalay in Sagaing Division, which borders Tedim in Chin State, four out of six confirmed cases related to Case No. 1 were discharged from Kalay General Hospital on Friday.

The two remaining confirmed cases at Kalay General Hospital are in good health and both have tested negative once.

The patients are being kept under medical surveillance at Kalay General Hospital and their health is stable.

A semi-lockdown and stay-at-home order in Kalay Township were lifted effective Friday.

There are still some community restrictions on households in Tedim that had contact with Case No. 1 and his mother.

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