Myanmar & COVID-19

Over 200 People Exposed to COVID-19 Patient in Myanmar’s Shan State

By Lawi Weng 22 April 2020

Public health officials have found that over 200 people recently came into contact with a nurse from Tachileik, Shan State who tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

“We found that there were 223 people who came into contact with her. All of them are under home quarantine,” Dr. Ba Soe Thet, assistant director at the State Public Health Department in Kengtung, told The Irrawaddy Wednesday.

The patient went to a funeral at the village of a relative in Kengtung Township who has tested positive for COVID-19, where she came into contact with many people.

“She came into contact with 92 people in Kengtung and the rest were from Tachileik. The village where she went for the funeral is now under lockdown,” said Dr. Ba Soe Thet.

The nurse worked at a hospital and a clinic in the town of Tachileik. According to authorities’ lists, she came into contact with 91 people at the clinic.

At the clinic, the nurse also had contact with a doctor who tested has positive for COVID-19. Though the doctor lives in Yangon, he traveled to Tachileik to visit his family and then tested positive for the disease on Saturday. The clinic is run by the doctor’s wife.

The nurse and the doctor were both transferred to Kengtung Hospital for treatment, where they and one other COVID-19 patient have placed in isolation rooms, according to Dr. Ba Soe Thet. The nurse has been referred to as case 112 by MOHS and the doctor has been referred to as case 96.

Seventeen people are now quarantined at the hospital in Tachileik, including the nurse’s family members and medics from the hospital, according to Dr. Sai Sam Lom, the head of hospital.

“Some of them feel that it is secure enough for them to stay at home, but some of them do not. Therefore, some doctors and nurse will stay at the facility quarantine,” said Dr. Sai Sam Lom.

In addition, 131 local residents in Tachileik who had contact with the nurse will be placed under quarantine. The township authority was preparing a religious hall on Wednesday to accommodate the local residents for quarantine.

Tachileik is located on the Thai-Myanmar border, just across from Mae Sai, Thailand. Many residents in the town were at first worried that the coronavirus would spread from Thailand into their town. As the virus has now arrived from Yangon, some residents are surprised.

Shan State has confirmed six cases of COVID-19 located in Kengtung, Lashio and Taunggyi. Myanmar reported a total of 121 COVID-19 cases according to data from the Ministry of Health and Sports on Wednesday, including five deaths and nine patients who recovered.

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