Myanmar Junta Locks Down Kalaymyo as COVID-19 Cases Spike
By The Irrawaddy 3 June 2021
The military regime imposed a stay-at-home order on another township in Sagaing Region on Wednesday, as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in northwest Myanmar.
Residents of Kalaymyo, also known as Kalay and Kale, were ordered to stay in their homes a day after Myanmar reported the country’s largest daily rise in COVID-19 cases since February with 122 new cases. 13 of those were recorded in Kalay Township.
Under the stay-at home order, everyone except government staff and employees of companies and factories has to stay inside, said the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS). Residents must ask for official permission if they have to leave their homes on urgent matters or if more than one person has to leave the home.
Residents are also required to wear face masks when outside. The MOHS warned that people who fail to comply with the order will face prosecution.
Last Friday, Tamu Township in Sagaing Region and Tonzang Township in Chin State were also placed under stay-at-home orders after reporting a large number of COVID-19 infections.
MOHS officials said that they have been facing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Sagaing Region and Tonzang and Falam townships in Chin State, which borders India. Tonzang Township reported 52 of the 122 coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday.
On Thursday, a 54-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man died of COVID-19 while they were being treated at a hospital in the town of Cikha in Tonzang Township.
A 74-year-old and a 38-year-old pregnant woman who were being treated at the same hospital have also died of COVID-19 in the last five days.
Dr. Daw Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the MOHS’s Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, told the Irrawaddy on Wednesday that they are carrying out tests to determine which form of COVID-19 is spreading in Sagaing Region and Chin State.
She added that they suspect that the new coronavirus variant found in India has now spread across the border into Myanmar.
72 people across Myanmar tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, although this is almost certainly an underestimate of the true infection rate as only around 1,600 COVID-19 tests were performed nationwide.
As of Wednesday, Myanmar had reported a total of 143,823 COVID-19 cases, including 3,218 fatalities and 132,388 people who have recovered.
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