Myanmar & COVID-19

Health Workers Make Up 10% of Myanmar’s COVID-19 Cases

By Thazin Hlaing 7 September 2020

Yangon—More than 10 percent of those currently infected with COVID-19 in Myanmar are health workers, according to a top government medic.

“More than 10 percent of those infected with COVID-19 after Aug. 16 are health staff,” said the director of contagious disease prevention and eradication at the Ministry of Health and Sports, Dr. Khin Khin Kyi.

The first COVID-19 cases were reported in Myanmar in late March. There were only some 400 COVID-19 cases until the second week of August and most of them were imported. But large numbers of transmissions were reported in Rakhine State since Aug. 16, before cases spread to Yangon and elsewhere.

The number of health workers, including doctors, nurses and other supporting staff, infected with coronavirus is the highest in Sittwe and Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State, with a few in Yangon Region, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

“We are still compiling the number of cases among health workers. A doctor at North Okkalapa Township Hospital [in Yangon] tested positive for the virus on Sept. 3. And some are infected in Sittwe. The number is higher in Rakhine,” said Dr. Khin Khin Gyi.

Myanmar reported 1,464 confirmed cases by Sept. 7, of which 1,090 cases were detected since Aug. 16. Rakhine has seen the largest numbers with 540 cases, with the capital, Sittwe, the main hotspot.

The health ministry will reinforce Rakhine services, she said.

“The ministry has dispatched 128 doctors, nurses and virologists to Rakhine State. All of them volunteered,” said Dr. Khin Khin Gyi.

Since Aug. 16, 540 COVID-19 confirmed cases have been reported in Rakhine State, 403 in Yangon Region, 42 in Bago Region, 20 in Mon State, 38 in Mandalay Region, 14 in Naypyitaw, 10 in Shan State, five in Ayeyarwady Region, four in Kachin State, three in Magwe Region, two each in Chin State and Sagaing Region and one in Tanintharyi Region.

The country has tested 166,433 specimens, reported 1,464 cases, eight deaths and 385 recoveries, according to the health ministry.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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