One Death and 50 COVID-19 Infections Reported Among Myanmar Migrants in Malaysia

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 21 April 2020

Yangon – Fifty migrants from Myanmar in Malaysia have tested positive with COVID-19 and one has died, according to the embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

U Aung Zaw Min, Myanmar’s labor attaché in Malaysia, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the figures came from the Malaysian health ministry.

No information was given about individuals, he said.

“One of the patients died yesterday,” said U Aung Zaw Min.

He said all embassies in Malaysia had closed last month after an instruction from Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The Malaysian Health Ministry’s director-general Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said 28 COVID-19 patients, including a 36-year-old from Myanmar, died with coronavirus linked to the area around Kuala Lumpur’s wholesale market, which was recently placed under a movement-control order.

Many migrants from Myanmar are facing hardships after losing their income due to the factory closures, said U San Win, chairman of the Kathpone Free Funeral Service Society in Kuala Lumpur.

He told The Irrawaddy that Myanmar civil society organizations in Malaysia were supplying food to migrants and requesting travel permission from the Malaysian authorities with recommendation letters from Myanmar’s Embassy.

By April 21, Malaysia has reported 5,425 COVID-19 cases, including 80 deaths and 3,295 patients who had recovered.

More than 500,000 migrant workers from Myanmar, including undocumented workers, are estimated to be working in Malaysia, according to Myanmar migrant rights groups.

The Thai-based Myanmar Labor Hittai news report said 17 Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand tested positive with COVID-19, while the country has reported 2,811 cases.

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