Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Military Doctors to Staff New Makeshift COVID-19 Hospital in Yangon

By Kyaw Phyo Tha & Htet Naing Zaw 7 April 2020

YANGON—The government of Yangon is preparing a new makeshift hospital with capacity for at least 200 COVID-19 patients on the outskirts of the city and the Myanmar military has agreed to dispatch two medical teams to staff the facility at the request of the regional government.

COVID-19 patients in Yangon are currently being treated at the Waibargi Infectious Disease Hospital. A total of 13 patients are now receiving treatment there.

The Yangon regional government said on Sunday that it is building the temporary hospital with an initial capacity of 200 beds for COVID-19 patients by converting hostels for medical use at the Central Institute of Civil Service in Hlegu Township.

Regional authorities sent a letter to the Myanmar military’s Yangon Command last Friday, informing it about the plan to open a makeshift hospital as soon as possible.

The facility is intended to treat COVID-19 patients exclusively, and around 205 health workers will be needed to run it, according to the letter signed by U Moe Hein, secretary 2 of the Yangon regional government.

The letter requested the cooperation of the Myanmar Army Medical Corps in the task, and asked the Yangon Command to notify the Yangon government about the type and number of military medics available to staff the facility.

The Myanmar military told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that it will dispatch two medical teams, each comprising 40 health care professionals, to the new hospital.

Military spokesperson Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun said the Tatmadaw would dispatch its medical teams once the hospital is ready for operation.

“We learned that the hospital will be ready by April 10. We will dispatch our medical teams then,” Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said.

The Tatmadaw has prepared two teams but will start by sending one, he said. Each team will comprise 12 specialists, 10 general practitioners, 14 senior nurses, two lab technicians and two radiographers, he said.

According to the Yangon Health Department, a total of 3,412 people are under quarantine at government-designated quarantine facilities and hospitals, and 298 people are under home quarantine.

According to the ministry, 22 COVID-19 cases had been reported in Myanmar by noon on Tuesday, with one fatality.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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