Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Confirms 10 New COVID-19 Cases After Two-Day Reprieve

By Nan Lwin 5 May 2020

YANGON—Myanmar health officials detected six new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, following four new cases found the previous day. The jump in new infections ends a weeklong period in which
the country saw a significant slowing in the rate of new cases, including no new cases for two days.

In the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS)’s latest count announced Tuesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 161, including six previously reported deaths.

Yangon, the country’s commercial hub, has been hit hardest by the pandemic with 126 cases, including five deaths. Of the 10 new cases detected on Sunday and Monday, nine were in Yangon and one in Naypyitaw.

Among the new cases, eight had close contact with patients who previously tested positive for the coronavirus. None of the new cases had traveled to a foreign country during the past 14 days.

Among the latest confirmed cases are two people with links to a religious gathering in Yangon. The gathering has been identified as the source of nearly 80 infections so far, according to the MOHS’ situation report published on Sunday, and Yangon regional lawmakers.

There of the patients from Yangon are nurses who worked at a private hospital in Insein Township. All of them had close contact with previously confirmed cases. The MOHS has not yet released the details of those contacts.

The government has ordered the hospital locked down for further investigation. Meanwhile, nearly 100 people who work at the hospital are being monitored as possible COVID-19 cases.

One of the new cases is a 48-year-old man in Tamwe Township who had no contact with previously confirmed patients or history of travel abroad during the past 14 days. According to the MOHS, a total of 22 people who had close contact with him have been placed under quarantine at a designated facility in the community.

The new patient in Naypyitaw is a 33-year-old military officer who had no contact with previous confirmed patients or history of travel abroad. He was admitted to the military hospital in Naypyitaw after showing symptoms of COVID-19.

After the rate of new cases slowed in late April, many people started resuming normal activities and some businesses have also started resuming operations.

On Sunday, Myanmar’s Union minister of health and sports warned of the likelihood of a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks due to the expected return of Myanmar citizens currently stranded in countries that have been hit hard by the disease and the reopening of factories this month.

He urged the public not to let its guard down in the fight against the infectious disease.

He also said many cases in which a person is infected with the virus but remains asymptomatic might not be reported.

According to the MOHS, 57 percent of the country’s total confirmed COVID-19 patients were asymptomatic.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday called on the public to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention instructions, even if the number of new cases slows.

According to the MOHS, a total of 49 people were recovering in hospitals as of Monday.
In early April, the Yangon regional government imposed a nighttime curfew on all 45 townships in the city, which has most of the country’s COVID-19 cases.

The MOHS also announced a conditional stay-at-home order covering seven Yangon townships where cases have been reported: Insein, Shwephyithar, Mayangone, Bahan, Pabedan, South Okkalapa and Hlaing Tharyar.

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