Myanmar Reports Record Post-Coup Rise in COVID-19 Cases
By The Irrawaddy 20 June 2021
Myanmar reported 546 new COVID-19 cases and seven coronavirus deaths, the highest number within 24 hours since the February coup.
The cases reported included 225 in Sagaing Region, 74 in Naypyitaw, 52 in Mon State, 43 in Yangon Region, 39 in Bago Region, 30 in Ayeyarwady Region, 25 in northern Shan State and 23 in Chin State. Mandalay also saw 21 cases, Tanintharyi Region nine, Kachin State four and Magwe Region one.
The previous biggest rise in Myanmar’s COVID-19 death toll since Feb. 1 was 373, which was reported last Sunday.
Myanmar, which has been in chaos since the military coup, reported a surge in COVID-19 cases since late May when the junta relaxed restrictions and allowed pagodas, beaches and other public venues to reopen following their closure in April 2020 in an attempt to normalize the country.
A health ministry official said the recent figures point to a fresh wave of COVID-19 with three “highly transmissible and more severe” coronavirus variants – Alpha, Delta and Kappa – now detected. The virus variants are the same as those found in India, the USA, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Switzerland, the Ministry of Health and Sports announced on June 15.
It warned that the variants are highly transmissible and cause more severe illness and some vaccines appear to be less effective against the new variants. The ministry predicted a higher number of hospital admissions and deaths.
It has imposed stay-at-home orders on eight townships: Tamu and Kale in Sagaing Region; Tonzang, Hakha, Tedim, Falam and Thantlang in Chin State; and Bago Region’s Letpadan.
Naypyitaw tightened restrictions on Friday, requiring those coming to the capital from townships under stay-at-home orders to quarantine for 10 days and be tested for coronavirus.
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