Over 600 Cases in Two Weeks for Yangon as Myanmar Sees Third Wave of COVID-19

By The Irrawaddy 19 June 2021

With more than 600 COVID-19 cases reported in Yangon over the past two weeks, the commercial capital has become the country’s second coronavirus hotspot after Sagaing Region.

A cluster of infections at a private school in Hlegu accounted for half of the COVID-19 cases in Yangon during the period.

“Yangon has seen over 600 cases over the past two weeks. The spike is due to over 350 cases in Hlegu,” said Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit of the junta-controlled Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

The cluster at Mahawthahta Private High School was detected after a female student who reported losing her sense of smell—one of the symptoms of COVID-19—tested positive in the second week of June.

A teacher at the school died of COVID-19 while being treated at the Hlaing Tharyar Hospital in Yangon on June 10.

Dr. Daw Khin Khin Gyi said on her Facebook page on Monday that a total of 246 out of 456 students, teachers and staff of the private school have tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, the 246 COVID-19 patients are in isolation at the school and are being treated there.

Myanmar was hit by a third wave of COVID-19 on May 27. The ministry says it still has the outbreak under control.

Sagaing has seen the largest outbreak with over 800 cases, followed by Yangon with over 600 cases and Chin State with over 500 cases.

The military regime has imposed stay-at-home orders on Tamu and Kale in Sagaing Region, as well as Hakha, Tonzang, Falam, Tedim and Thantlang townships in Chin State, with schools in those townships being ordered to close since the first week of June.

Schools were also ordered to close on June 14 in Letpadan Township in Bago Region after COVID-19 cases were reported there. The MOHS imposed stay-at-home orders on the township on Friday night.

Since the coup, the regime has been struggling to maintain COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment as thousands of government medical staff and numerous volunteers have refused to work for the junta. Meanwhile, members of the public have also opted against receiving COVID-19 jabs under the military regime.

The Health Ministry has reportedly conducted around 1,500 to 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day compared with between 16,000 and 18,000 tests under the ousted civilian government.

As of Thursday, Myanmar had reported 146,768 COVID-19 cases since March 23 last year, including 3,250 deaths and 133,346 recoveries.

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