Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Overtakes Thailand in COVID-19 Cases

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 16 September 2020

Yangon – Myanmar is now fifth in Asean in terms of COVID-19 cases, overtaking Thailand, which reported more than 3,400 cases on Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, Myanmar reported 3,636 cases, including 39 deaths and 832 recoveries.

Due to the rapid surge of COVID-19 cases since Aug. 16, Myanmar has overtaken other Asean members behind the Philippines with more than 269,000 COVID-19 cases, Indonesia with more than 225,000, Singapore with more than 57,000 and Malaysia with more than 9,900 cases.

Myanmar reported 374 cases in almost five months after March 23, when the country’s first case was reported.

However, numbers have risen rapidly with up to 300 extra cases per day since Aug. 16, when the first domestic transmission in a month was reported in Rakhine State.

Since Aug. 16, Myanmar has reported 3,262 COVID-19 cases.

Since Sept. 4, the country has reported 33 COVID-19 deaths, compared to six between March and Sept. 3.

Cases have been reported in 151 townships across the country with only Kayah State reporting no coronavirus cases.

Yangon has become the country’s COVID-19 center with more than 2,100 cases reported on Tuesday, followed by Rakhine State with about 800 cases.

Yangon is providing 5,000 more hospital beds as its three main COVID-19 hospitals are almost full.

The three hospitals have around 1,200 beds in total and are treating COVID-19 patients with serious symptoms.

The Ministry of Health and Sports and Yangon’s regional government are now placing patients with mild symptoms at two temporary hospitals in Dagon Seikkan and Hlaing townships.

A tented hospital, with 500 beds, is being constructed at Yangon’s Thuwunna football stadium in Thingangyun Township.

Professor Zaw Wai Soe, vice chairman of the Yangon coordinating COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment committee, told the Skynet Up-To-Date Channel on Sunday that the vast majority of patients will recover. “It is not dangerous for the young and those who have no underlying conditions,” he added. “But COVID-19 is a danger for elderly people and those who have underlying issues.”

The health ministry is currently running a containment strategy, giving treatment to all patients and putting everyone thought to be infected or a silent carrier under quarantine, according to Professor Zaw Wai Soe.

He told Skynet on Tuesday that the health ministry was planning to create enough hospital beds with enough staff and medicine.

“We can beat COVID-19 if individuals follow the preventative guidelines every second. We would protect the entire country from COVID-19 if we can beat it in Yangon,” said Professor Zaw Wai Soe.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi pledged in her televised speech on Tuesday evening that the government will provide sufficient treatment, medicine, hospital beds and quarantine centers to contain the virus.

She requested the cooperation of all citizens, saying: “Don’t find a culprit. We don’t need to think whose fault is it. We have to concentrate on how we can contain the spread.

“I ask everyone to follow the COVID-19 preventative guidelines,” she added.

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