Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Public Health Officer in Chinese Border Town Tests COVID-19 Positive

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 3 June 2020

YANGON—A Myanmar government public health officer in the town of Muse on the Chinese border in northern Shan State tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the Health Ministry.

The case is the first local transmission of COVID-19 in the country in two weeks.

The 30-year-old woman is a health assistant from the Muse Public Health Department and she had no travel history or history of contact with known COVID-19 patients.

She was among four patients who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the Health Ministry.

The other three patients are Myanmar nationals who returned from India, China and Malaysia.

Dr. Myo Tun, social affairs minister for Shan State, told local media that more than 40 medical staff, including the health assistant, who were assigned to border gates or entrance gates of townships and villages were tested using swab samples last Friday.

According to lawmakers and the Health Ministry, the patient is isolated at the Muse District Public Hospital and her husband is under quarantine at a facility quarantine center.

The Shan State Health Department is now tracing the contacts of the patient. Currently, more than 40 people who had contact with the patient are under facility quarantine and will be tested for COVID-19, according to the Health Ministry.

U Sai Kyaw Thein, a lawmaker from Muse Township, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the patient is in charge of a medical team assigned to Mai-Paw Head Village.

“We are very worried about the patient because she is a silent carrier without having any fever or COVID-19 symptoms,” said U Sai Kyaw Thein.

Myanmar conducts about 1,500 COVID-19 tests per day, according to the Health Ministry. By Wednesday afternoon, Myanmar had conducted nearly 30,000 COVID-19 tests.

Myanmar has reported a total of 233 COVID-19 cases, including 74 imported cases, six deaths and 143 recoveries.

Editor’s Note: The previous version of the story mistakenly stated that the patient is a nurse who was assigned at the border gate to check the temperatures of returnees coming from China. Corrections have been made on June 4.

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