Burma

Worried About COVID-19 Spike, Detained Suu Kyi Urges People for More Caution

By The Irrawaddy 28 June 2021

Detained State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is worried about the country’s rising cases of coronavirus and urged people to be more careful.

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is concerned about the COVID-19 infections. She told the people to be more careful,” said Daw San Mar Lar Nyunt, one of her lawyers, who met her on Monday during her ongoing trial.

Two of her lawyers, Daw San Mar Lar Nyunt and U Kyi Win, tested negative for COVID-19 before traveling to Naypyitaw to represent her on Monday. With rising COVID-19 cases, they have to test every time before traveling and acquire certificates to prove their health.

The regime has filed seven charges against her following the February coup.

Myanmar has been hit by a wave of COVID-19 since May with most cases reported in the border towns with India, China and Bangladesh and Yangon and Bago regions.

On Sunday, there were 804 new COVID-19 positive cases across Myanmar, according to the junta’s health ministry. Myanmar on Sunday had 153,160 COVID-19 cases with 3,297 deaths nationwide, according to the junta.

When the first cases of coronavirus were reported in late March last year, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked people to follow preventative measures, including wearing masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing. She used Facebook for the first time to engage with more people. Her government imposed stay-at-home orders and opened quarantine centers.

Following the February coup, COVID-19 testing dropped as health care staff joined the civil disobedience movement, refusing to work for the military regime.

As COVID-19 cases have risen, the regime reopened quarantine centers but the military-controlled authorities lack any popular support. Hospitals and quarantine centers are largely undermanned as many staff remain on strike. Many people with symptoms remain in self-isolation at home rather than heading to hospital, in contrast with last year, as they believe the regime could not provide proper care.

By Monday, the regime had imposed stay-at-home orders on 11 townships in Sagaing and Bago regions, and Chin and Shan states.

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