Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Confirms 14 New Coronavirus Cases After Week of Few Cases

By Nan Lwin 8 May 2020

YANGON—The number of novel coronavirus cases in Myanmar surged to 176 after 14 new cases were reported on Thursday in the biggest single-day spike since mid-April, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

The jump in new infections ends a weeklong period in which the country saw a significant slowing in the rate of new cases, including two days with no new cases.

Among the new cases, 12 patients are from Yangon’s Insein Township and two are from Yangon’s Tamwe Township. Yangon has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 of any place in Myanmar, with a total of 141 patients as of Friday morning.

Among them, 42 cases were found in Insein Township, the most of any area in Yangon. On Wednesday, MOHS conducted door-to-door medical checks in Insein as the township.

All of the new COVID-19 patients had close contact with patients who previously tested positive for the coronavirus.

Yangon regional lawmaker for Insein Township U Wai Phyo Han said all 12 new patients from his constituency are living in the same building. All of them had close contact with three nurses who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

At least 17 infections have been traced to the cluster so far, according to the MOHS situation report on Thursday and Yangon regional lawmakers.

As the number of new cases slowed significantly in late April, many people started resuming normal activities and some businesses also started resuming operations. Many people in public stopped wearing masks and began to break social distancing rules, including by gathering in groups of more than five people.

On Thursday, MOHS warned that people must strictly follow health instructions related to COVID-19, in particular to wear masks, avoid large gatherings and stay at home.

MOHS said the people play a vital role in curbing the spread of COVID-19. Many cases in which a person is infected with the virus but remains asymptomatic might not be reported. Nearly half of the country’s total confirmed COVID-19 patients have been asymptomatic.

MOHS urged the public not to let its guard down in the fight against the infectious disease and to cooperate with authorities.

The restrictions will be eased gradually based on the condition of the pandemic and the decisions will depend on public health, social and economic factors.

Myanmar has reported a total of six deaths due to the coronavirus and 62 people are recovering in hospitals as of Friday morning.

Since March, Myanmar has banned large gatherings, instructed people to stay at home, and imposed a nighttime curfew in some major cities to curb the further spread of the pandemic.