Myanmar Junta to Build New Crematoriums as COVID-19 Death Toll Soars

By The Irrawaddy 28 July 2021

Myanmar’s military regime will build ten new crematoriums in Yangon, as the death toll from the third wave of COVID-19 continues to soar.

Over 4,000 people have died of coronavirus since the beginning of June, when Myanmar was hit by the third wave of COVID-19, and many people have criticized the junta for building the new crematoriums rather than focusing on preventing and treating COVID-19 infections.

Myanma Radio and Television, the junta-controlled broadcaster, announced on Tuesday that ten crematoriums are being built simultaneously at cemeteries in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, which has seen the highest fatalities nationwide in the coronavirus third wave.

The crematoriums will be able to cremate more than 3,000 bodies per day. The newly-built crematoriums in Yayway, one of Yangon’s major cemeteries, can cremate over 1,000 bodies per day, said the junta-controlled media.

A body wrapped in blanket awaiting cremation at Yangon’s Yayway Cemetery.

The move has provoked the ire of the many people who have lost relatives and friends to COVID-19 over the past two months due to the mismanagement of the military regime. Many patients were turned away by public hospitals and forced to rely on treatment at home, including sourcing their own medical oxygen, even as the junta was restricting the sale of oxygen to individuals.

4,629 people have died of COVID-19 over the past two months nationwide, according to the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports. Those figures are widely believed to be an underestimate, with charities who transport dead bodies to Yangon’s cemeteries reporting handling over a thousand corpses daily since mid-July.

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