Myanmar & COVID-19

UPDATE: Myanmar Reports 18 More COVID-19 Deaths, Taking Toll to 57

By Nan Lwin 17 September 2020

YANGON—A teenager and a 90-year-old are among Myanmar’s latest COVID-19 victims as the coronavirus continues to claim lives in the country, which has been facing a resurgence of the disease since last month.

On Thursday, Myanmar reported 18 more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll from the coronavirus to 57, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

The MOHS reported 259 new cases, taking the country’s tally to 3,895 with 908 recoveries.

Between March 23, when Myanmar’s first case was detected, and Sept. 3, the country reported only six deaths from the disease. However, since the country’s first domestic transmission in a month was reported on Aug. 16 in Rakhine State, COVID-19 cases have risen dramatically—by up to 300 new cases daily in recent days—seeing a more than tenfold increase and a total of 51 more deaths in a month.

Myanmar now has the fifth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in ASEAN.

According to MOHS data released as of 3 p.m., among the 18 patients whose deaths were reported Thursday, the youngest was a 13-year-old girl and the oldest was a 90-year-old man from Yangon. Most of the others were in their 50s, 60s and 80s, and most of the patients had a history of underlying medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

Of the 18 deaths reported on Thursday, 17 were in Yangon and one was in Mandalay. Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, has been hit the hardest by COVID-19, with about 2,533 cases reported as of Wednesday evening, followed by Rakhine State with 888 cases.

Of the 44 townships in Yangon, the MOHS has placed the 28 worst affected under stay-at-home restrictions.

According to the ministry, the three main COVID-19 hospitals in Yangon are almost full. A tent hospital with 500 beds is being constructed in the Thuwana football stadium in Yangon’s Thingangyun Township, according to the MOHS and the Yangon regional government.

This story was updated at 4.20 p.m. on Thursday after MOHS’ afternoon update was released.

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