Myanmar COVID-19 Case Numbers Heavily Underestimated: Medics

By The Irrawaddy 20 July 2021

Myanmar’s COVID-19 infections are highest in Yangon and Bago regions with each seeing over 1,000 new daily cases over the past six days, according to the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports.

Yangon, the most populous region in Myanmar, saw 6,693 cases and Bago reported 5,938 over the past six days. The number, however, dropped from over 1,000 to around 300 in Bago on Monday.

The actual figures could be far higher considering many people are staying at home due to the lack of trust in the regime and turned away by the hospitals, said doctors and charities helping COVID-19 patients.

A doctor from a private clinic in Yangon said he is overwhelmed and has received hundreds of coronavirus patients over the past few days.

“If there are 10 apartments in a building, I am sure seven of them will be infected with COVID-19. It has been an outbreak. I have seen serious cases in the elderly and those with underlying conditions. I can’t attend to all the people coming to my clinic. There were over 200 yesterday. I am now only allowing limited appointments,” said the doctor.

According to the health ministry, COVID-19 infections are highest in Bago, followed by Yangon.

The ministry reported over 94,000 cases with 2,150 deaths between Feb. 1 and July 19, with the majority of deaths being recorded since mid-June.

The doctor said though COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu, it is likely people displaying those symptoms are suffering from coronavirus because of widespread infections.

“It is important to isolate as soon as one is not feeling well. Don’t go out. It is not seasonal flu. It is definitely COVID-19. One might complain they can get fever when they get caught in the rain but it is very likely to be COVID-19,” said the doctor.

Nearly 90 percent of the country has been affected by coronavirus, with 296 of 330 townships reporting cases since May. Three deadly variants — Alpha, Delta and Kappa — have been detected in the country.

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