Myanmar Reports Highest COVID-19 Daily Death Toll Since Coup

By The Irrawaddy 5 July 2021

Myanmar recorded 35 COVID-19 fatalities on Sunday, the highest daily death toll since the junta’s Feb. 1 coup, while more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases were reported.

10,378 swab tests were conducted nationwide on Sunday, resulting in 2,318 confirmed new coronavirus cases, according to the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS). Myanmar has reported 165,405 COVID-19 cases and 3,419 deaths since the virus was first detected in the country in late March 2020.

Details of where Sunday’s deaths occurred were not immediately available.

As of Saturday, Bago, Sagaing and Yangon regions have respectively reported the most coronavirus cases. Over the past seven days, Bago has recorded nearly 1,900 cases, Sagaing nearly 1,700 and Yangon almost 1,500 cases.

Since late May, the military regime has locked down 26 townships nationwide: three townships in Sagaing Region, eight townships in Mandalay Region, four townships in Bago Region, three townships in Ayeyarwady Region, five townships in Chin State and three townships in Shan State.

Last month, the MOHS announced that the new, more virulent coronavirus strains, including the Delta variant first identified in India, have been detected in Myanmar, warning that this will increase hospital admissions and deaths.

Myanmar has vaccinated more than 1.5 million people with vaccine doses donated by India, according to junta-controlled media reports in May. The exact number of people inoculated was unavailable as of Monday, and the health ministry spokesperson was unreachable.

The regime has used vaccines donated by India, China and Russia. The junta has also purchased two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Russia and plans to buy another seven million doses, according to coup leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The nationwide vaccination program was launched by the ousted civilian National League for Democracy Government on January 27, just days before the Feb. 1 coup. Healthcare staff and volunteer medical workers were the first to receive shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by India.  Following the military takeover, the number of people being tested for COVID-19 declined dramatically until early June, as health workers are refusing to work under military rule.

However, the regime has continued to administer vaccines, with healthcare and education staff a priority, as schools reopened in June.

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