Myanmar & COVID-19

Doctor Who Treated COVID-19 Patient Tests Positive in Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 12 April 2020

YANGON—A doctor who treated a COVID-19 patient has tested positive for the disease, becoming the first victim among the frontline health workers fighting the coronavirus in Myanmar.

The 58-year-old anesthesiologist was part of the medical team that treated a COVID-19 patient at Pyay General Hospital in Bago Region. The patient died of the disease last week.

According to Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports, she is one of three people who tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday. As of Sunday morning, the Southeast Asian country had detected 38 confirmed cases with three deaths since late March.

Known and highly respected among her colleagues for her outspokenness and professionalism, the anesthesiologist was actively involved in the Black Ribbon Movement in 2015 during the previous quasi-civilian government. The campaign, in which health care practitioners donned black ribbons in photos posted online and adopted the catchcry, “Say no to the militarization of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health”, opposed the appointment of military officers to positions within the ministry. She also joined public campaigns last year to demand justice for a toddler who was raped in Naypyitaw.

The doctor was transferred to Yangon’s Waibargi Specialist Hospital for Infectious Diseases early on Sunday morning. She wrote on her Facebook account: “Just arrived. Safe trip. SFSG [so far so good]. Thanks for all of your kindness.”

According to a note she posted late on Saturday night before her referral to Waibargi Hospital, she had no cough or fever and was not in distress.

“Now leaving and going to sleep. Thk to all,” she wrote.

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