Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to Five; Curfew Imposed in Yangon

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 18 April 2020

YANGON—Myanmar reported the death of another COVID-19 patient on Saturday, taking the country’s coronavirus death toll to five while the number of infected people in the country has risen to 94.

Yangon is the hardest hit region, with 76 infections and four deaths reported as of Saturday morning. The regional government on Friday ordered a nighttime curfew effective Saturday.

A 78-year-old man who had been in intensive care at Yangon’s Waibargi Infectious Diseases Hospital since testing positive for COVID-19 on Friday died on Saturday morning, the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) said.

The man, who also suffered from hypertension and diabetes, was initially admitted to Yangon’s Insein Hospital on Wednesday and kept in isolation as a suspected COVID-19 patient, as he was showing symptoms of the disease.

The MOHS said on Saturday the patient died due to severe pneumonia caused by the coronavirus in combination with his two underlying diseases.

Lawmaker U Yan Shin from Yangon’s Mayangone Township told The Irrawaddy on Saturday the patient had close contact with COVID-19 patients from the same township who tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

Myanmar reported its first death from COVID-19 on March 31. The 69-year-old man had been undergoing treatment for stage-4 cancer and died of multiple causes including the coronavirus.

Two more COVID-19 patients died on April 8—a 47-year-old man who had been treated at Pyay General Hospital in Bago Region and a 63-year-old woman who had diabetes as an underlying illness.

On April 12, an 85-year-old COVID-19 patient with underlying hypertension, diabetes and heart disease died while in isolation at Yangon General Hospital.

As of Saturday, Myanmar had reported a total of 94 COVID-19 cases. The MOHS said two of the surviving patients are in intensive care at Waibargi Hospital, and the remainder are in stable condition.

Yangon has the country’s most serious coronavirus outbreak, with 76 COVID-19 patients and four deaths reported as of Saturday. On Friday, the Yangon regional government ordered a nighttime curfew to take effect Saturday. Residents of the region’s 44 townships except the Coco Islands are prohibited from going outdoors between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

On Thursday, the MOHS ordered a conditional nationwide ban on gatherings of more than five people to control the spread of the disease.

As an additional measure, the MOHS on Saturday issued a conditional stay-home order covering seven Yangon townships where cases have been reported: Insein, Shwephyithar, Mayangone, Bahan, Pabalden, South Oakkalar and Hlaingtharyar.

The order excludes factory workers, company staff and government employees.

Under the order, only one person from each household is allowed to go shopping. In households with health issues, people may leave in pairs to go to a clinic or hospital. People must wear masks when they go out.

People who need to go out in groups of more than two may request permission to do so from their neighborhood authorities.

Anyone who fails to follow the instructions will be subject to legal action under the Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease Law, the MOHS said.

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