Burma

Myanmar’s COVID-19 Cases Approach 4,000 in Month

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 18 September 2020

Yangon – Myanmar’s COVID-19 cases have exceeded 4,000 after around 1,000 cases were reported in four days, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

On Friday morning, Myanmar reported 4,299 COVID-19 cases, including 61 deaths and 944 recoveries.

Myanmar has been facing a surge of COVID-19 cases since Aug. 16, when the country’s first domestic transmission in a month was detected in the Rakhine capital, Sittwe.

Myanmar’s COVID-19 cases hit 2,000 on Sept. 10, a week after hitting 1,000 on Sept. 3.

The numbers of cases were reported at 3,000 on Sept. 14 with up to 300 cases being added per day.

According to the health ministry, COVID-19 cases have been reported in 151 townships across the country with only Kayah State reporting no coronavirus cases.

In the 34 days since Aug. 16, Myanmar reported 3,925 COVID-19 cases, compared to 374 cases between March and Aug. 16.

Myanmar now has the fifth-highest number of reported COVID-19 cases in Asean.

Myanmar reported only six COVID-19-related deaths by Sept. 4 but 55 fatalities have been reported in the two weeks since.

Initially, Myanmar reported only 374 cases in the five months since March 23, when the country’s first case was reported.

Thursday was Myanmar’s most deadly day with 20 deaths, overtaking the 12 COVID-19 deaths on Sept. 14.

On Thursday, Yangon, the worst affected region, reported 2,279 cases since Aug. 16, followed by Rakhine State with 886 cases.

This week Yangon’s three COVID-19 hospitals have been reaching capacity, leading the regional government to build temporary hospitals for mild and asymptomatic patients.

Despite the surge in cases, Professor Zaw Wai Soe, the vice-chairman of Yangon’s coordinating COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment committee, told the media on Thursday that the treatment system was working well because of sufficient medical staff, hospital beds and medicines.

He said the health ministry is running a containment strategy, treating all patients and putting everyone thought to be a coronavirus risk in quarantine.

“The results will be clear in two weeks if we can maintain the containment procedures,” said Professor Zaw Wai Soe.

He said the reported cases were stabilizing, suggesting the spread of the virus is under control because of the public’s cooperation.

“I thank people and beg everyone to follow the preventative guidelines. We have the virus under control, with transmissions being kept to the hundreds, due to public cooperation. The daily cases will rise to several thousand without the public’s cooperation,” Professor Zaw Wai Soe said.

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