Myanmar’s former dictator Than Shwe and his wife, who both tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago, have been discharged from hospital, a military regime spokesperson said.
“They were released late last week after two weeks in the hospital, as they are OK now,” Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told The Irrawaddy.
The ex-dictator and his wife Daw Kyaing Kyaing were admitted to a military hospital in Naypyitaw early this month as a precaution amid the country’s raging COVID-19 outbreak.
The pair tested positive for the coronavirus several days after their admission.
“They are now in good health,” the spokesperson said.
U Than Shwe is 88 and his wife Daw Kyaing Khaing is 89.
Myanmar has been reeling from a deadly third wave of the coronavirus since late June. Six thousand people were killed by COVID-19 last month alone, the deadliest month since the virus hit the Southeast Asian county last year.
Than Shwe ruled Myanmar with an iron fist at the head of the previous military regime from 1992 to 2011, when he transferred power to a military-proxy civilian government handpicked by him.
During his reign, his regime brutally cracked down on dissidents, not to mention jailing his political opponents, including the country’s popular leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who endured long spells of periodic house arrest for many years until 2010.
Myanmar is now under military rule again—after five years of fledgling democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from 2016 to January 2021—as Than Shwe’s successor as military chief, Min Aung Hlaing, staged a coup in February. Since the takeover, the country has been in social and political turmoil as military rule has been strenuously opposed by the majority of the population.
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