Myanmar’s Bago Region Sees Sharp Spike in COVID-19 Cases

By The Irrawaddy 17 June 2021

COVID-19 cases in Myanmar’s Bago Region have spiked after the discovery of a large cluster of infections in Letpadan Township, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

133 residents of Letpadan contracted COVID-19 during the period June 7 to 16, out of a population of almost 180,000, according to the township’s COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment committee.

Between June 2 and 14, Bago Region also reported 12 other COVID-19 cases across the four townships of Bago, Phyu, Thayawady and Padaung.

The junta-controlled MOHS said on Wednesday that Letpadan’s first COVID-19 case was reported on June 7, after a male patient admitted to the township hospital on June 5 tested positive.

The 50-year-old patient died of COVID-19 two or three days later, according to an official of the township’s COVID-19 committee. Five other members of his family also tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, 126 Letpadan residents had tested positive for coronavirus out of 502 people tested because they had been in contact with COVID-19 patients, the MOHS said.

Currently, the COVID-19 patients are being treated in the isolation ward of the township hospital and government technological institute, said the MOHS.

Paukkone ward and Oaktwin village in Letapdan have been locked down since June 9 in order to prevent further transmission of COVID-19.

The township’s Myoma Market has also been locked down since June 14, as several people working there had been in contact with COVID-19 patients. 26 out of 171 people working in the market tested positive for coronavirus on June 15 and 16, according to the Health Ministry.

All schools in Letpadan Township have been temporarily shut since Monday after a seven-year-old girl at a primary school tested positive for COVID-19. Both the girl’s mother and grandmother have also contracted coronavirus.

However, the 31 other students at the primary school tested negative, the official from the township’s COVID-19 committee told the Irrawaddy on Thursday.

Currently, the girl is being treated at the township hospital and is in good health, he added.

“Actually, the coronavirus has spread a lot in the township’s community. We would find more cases if people are prepared to be tested,” the official said.

He added that there are people who are unwilling to be tested due to both fear and a lack of knowledge, despite the fact that they have been in contact with COVID-19 patients.

Earlier this week, a large cluster of COVID-19 cases was reported at the Mahawthahta Private School run by Buddhist monks in Yangon’s Hlegu Township.

246 of the 456 students, teachers and staff at the well-known private school tested positive for COVID-19. A teacher at the school died of coronavirus on June 10.

As of Wednesday, Myanmar had reported a total of 146,406 COVID-19 cases, including 3,250 fatalities and 133,316 people who have recovered.

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