COVID-19-Positive Cancer Patient Dies in Myanmar Hospital

By The Irrawaddy 31 March 2020

A COVID-19-positive patient, who had been undergoing treatment for stage-4 cancer in Yangon, died from multiple causes including the coronavirus on Tuesday morning at Yangon’s Weibagi Specialist Hospital.

The 69-year-old man is Myanmar’s first coronavirus-related fatality. The country had 14 confirmed cases as of Monday.

The Ministry of Information said the causes of death were acute respiratory distress syndrome with septic shock, COVID-19 with severe community acquired pneumonia and underlying nasal cancer, which had been treated with radio therapy.

The patient underwent a month of medical treatment for nasal cavity cancer in Australia before flying back to Myanmar on March 14. After being admitted to Yangon General Hospital to receive intensive care for his final-stage cancer, he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27.

U Aung Win, the administrator of Yangon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township, confirmed to The Irrawaddy that the patient died on Tuesday morning.

The administrator said the man’s family members are all in good health.

Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the Central Contagious Disease Prevention and Eradication Sub-Department at the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS), told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, “The patient was under intensive care for his nasal cancer, and as he is a cancer patient, his internal organs, including the lungs, are weak. We could say his death was likely due to a combination of COVID-19 and the underlying disease.”

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health and Sports announced that a man who had close contact with the deceased patient is receiving treatment at the Weibagi Hospital.

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