Myanmar & COVID-19

ADB to Invest $30m in Myanmar’s COVID-19 Battle

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 12 October 2020

Yangon – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$30 million loan (38.3 billion kyats) to boost Myanmar’s fight against COVID-19.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 new coronavirus cases are being reported per day, with the vast majority in Yangon Region.

On Monday morning, Myanmar reported 27,974 cases, including 646 fatalities and 9,742 recoveries.

The ADB said the loan is aimed at minorities who have inadequate access to health care and other essential services.

The loan is to enable the government to invest in 31 district and township hospitals across the country, the ADB said.

It would also improve clinical management and services by providing emergency departments with equipment for the assessment, isolation and treatment of people with COVID-19.

The loan is intended to upgrade laboratory and hospital equipment, including the supply of oxygen, electricity, water and other essentials.

Professor Zaw Wai Soe, vice-chairman of Yangon’s COVID-19 coordinating prevention, control and treatment committee, said on Sunday that the authorities are upgrading Yangon General Hospital by installing 300 more beds at the high-dependency unit and 30 more intensive care beds for COVID-19 care.

He said 440 more oxygen posts are being installed at four of Yangon’s hospitals to provide oxygen therapy to patients.

Yangon has more than 7 million inhabitants and is reporting between 1,000 and 1,900 new COVID-19 cases per day.

On Sunday, Yangon reported more than 21,000 cases since Aug. 16, when the country’s first domestic transmission in a month was detected in Rakhine State’s capital, Sittwe.

Earlier this year, the ADB committed $6.6 million (8.4 billion kyats) from the Greater Mekong Subregion Health Security Project to strengthen Myanmar’s early COVID-19 response.

The funds were aimed at purchasing medical equipment and supplies, including thermal scanners, protective equipment, laboratory equipment and respiratory ventilators.

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