Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Builds Temporary Hospitals as COVID-19 Centers Near Capacity

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 14 September 2020

Yangon –Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon is planning to create 5,000 more hospital beds to contain the spread of coronavirus as case numbers rise rapidly in the city and its three COVID-19 hospitals are almost full.

As of Monday morning, Myanmar has reported 3,015 COVID-19 cases, including 26 deaths and 699 recoveries.

Yangon Region has become the center of Myanmar’s COVID-19 epidemic with 1,678 cases, followed by Rakhine State with 755 cases.

The Ministry of Health and Sports reported on Friday that 851 COVID-19 patients have been treated at the Phaunggyi temporary COVID-19 hospital in Yangon’s Hlegu Township, which has a capacity of 1,050.

It said 69 COVID-19 patients have been treated at Waibargi Infectious Diseases Hospital, which has a 70-bed capacity. A total of 57 patients were treated at South Okkalapa Hospital, which has 70 beds.

The three hospitals are the main centers of Yangon’s COVID-19 treatment.

Professor Dr Zaw Wai Soe, vice chairman of the Yangon coordinating COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment committee, told the Skynet Up-To-Date channel on Sunday that about 100 COVID-19 patients, who were treated in Phaunggyi Hospital, were taken to a new temporary hospital at the Yoma housing complex in Yangon’s Dagon Seikkan Township, which is treating patients with mild symptoms since the three main hospitals were 95 percent full.

Initially, more than 600 beds have been prepared at the temporary Yoma hospital, which is being converted from existing housing.

In Yangon, COVID-19 patients with serious symptoms are being treated at Phaunggyi, Waibargi and South Okkalapa hospitals.

“We are planning for 300 to 400 new patients per day in Yangon. According to that increase, we are expecting up to 5,000 patients in the next two weeks,” said Professor Dr Zaw Wai Soe.

He said temporary COVID-19 hospitals are being built in Yangon’s Hlaing Township and at the Thuwunna Football Stadium in Thingangyun Township.

A 500-bed temporary hospital at Thuwunna is being planned by the Ayeyarwady Foundation.

On Monday, Myanmar’s COVID-19 cases hit 3,000 after more than 1,000 cases were reported in four days, according to the health ministry.

Myanmar had reported 374 cases in almost five months after the first case on March 23.

The first domestic transmission in a month was reported in Rakhine State on Aug. 16 and now up to 200 new cases are being reported each day.

In mid-August, transmissions suddenly rose in Rakhine State and Yangon and Mandalay regions. Yangon reported the highest cases with 1,678 cases on Sunday.

Myanmar’s COVID-19 cases hit 2,000 on Sept. 10, a week after hitting 1,000 on Sept. 3.

The COVID-19 death toll has reached 26, with six deaths reported on Monday morning.

Myanmar had only reported six COVID-19-related deaths by Sept. 4.

Across Asean, Myanmar ranks sixth in terms of COVID-19 cases after the Philippines with more than 266,000 reported cases, Indonesia with more than 222,000 cases, Singapore with more than 57,000, Malaysia more than 9,900 and Thailand with more than 3,470.

The rapid spread in Myanmar means it is expected to overtake Thailand’s case numbers in a few days.

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