Myanmar Reports Record Rise in COVID-19 Cases Since February

By The Irrawaddy 2 June 2021

Myanmar reported 122 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the largest daily jump in cases in the last three months.

The previous biggest rise in Myanmar’s COVD-19 tally was 96, which was reported last Thursday. Around 11 to 35 new COVID-19 cases were reported daily from Feb. 6 to May. 26.

As of Tuesday, Myanmar had reported a total of 143,751 COVID-19 cases, including 3,217 fatalities and 132,360 people recovered, according to the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

Dr. Daw Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the MOHS’s Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, told the Irrawaddy on Wednesday that more than 50 of the 122 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Chin State’s Tonzang Township and the town of Cikha, which border India.

Since Friday, the township has been placed under a stay-at-home order after more than a dozen people tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tonzang Public Hospital and the hospital in Cikha last Thursday.

“We found more cases there because there were more people who had been in contact with the COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Daw Khin Khin Gyi.

She added that they are trying their best to control the transmission of COVID-19 in Tonzang Townhsip. Of the 11 COVID-19 cases found in Cikha, seven patients are in serious condition.

A 74-year-old COVID-19 patient who was being treated at Cikha’s hospital died on Tuesday, while a 38-year-old pregnant woman died from the coronavirus on Sunday in the same hospital.

The military regime has also imposed a stay-at-home order on Tamu Township, Sagaing Region, which also borders India, following a spike in COVID-19 cases there.

The MOHS is carrying out tests to determine which form of COVID-19 is spreading in Sagaing Region and Chin State, said Dr. Daw Khin Khin Gyi. It is suspected that the new coronavirus variant found in India has now spread across the border into Myanmar.

Since the junta’s Feb. 1 coup, the MOHS has been conducting only around 1,500 to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day because thousands of healthcare workers are refusing to work for the junta.

Under the ousted civilian government, around 16,000 to 18,000 swab tests were carried out daily in January.

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