Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Military COVID-19 Patient’s Contacts Test Negative

By Htet Naing Zaw 5 May 2020

NAYPYITAW—The Myanmar military carried out COVID-19 tests for over 300 military personnel after a 33-year-old soldier tested positive for the disease in Naypyitaw. All of them tested negative for the virus, according to military spokesperson Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun.

“We have tested over 300 military personnel who had contact with him, including those who work at the same office as him and his relatives. All of them tested negative,” Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun told The Irrawaddy.

The soldier who tested positive suffered from a fever, sore throat and diarrhea on Thursday and was placed under isolation at the local military hospital on Friday before he tested positive for the coronavirus.

The soldier is not an officer and reportedly works primarily in an office. His work does not involve traveling, according to Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun.

This is the first case of COVID-19 in the Myanmar military inside the country, though five Myanmar military trainees in Russia tested positive for the disease in April.

Upper House lawmaker U Maung Maung Swe expressed concerns as the military said the soldier did not have a travel history nor did he have contact with any known COVID-19 patients.

“We should trace from whom he was infected and if he has gone anywhere,” said U Maung Maung Swe.

Naypyitaw Health Department Deputy Director General Dr. Myat Wunna Soe said there has been no exchange of information between his department and the military about the first military COVID-19 patient.

“As the case happened in a cantonment area and not in a civilian area, we don’t trace the contact history. Their [military] health care professionals and medical corps are handling it,” he told The Irrawaddy.

As of Tuesday, Myanmar has reported 161 COVID-19 cases, including six fatalities and 49 patients who have recovered, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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