YANGON—Myanmar’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 32 after 12 more fatalities were reported on Monday, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).
Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in Myanmar, which has reported more than 200 new COVID-19 cases daily in recent days, after going for a month without any local transmissions between mid-July and Aug. 16.
On Sunday alone, the MOHS reported more than 300 new cases.
As of Tuesday morning, Myanmar had reported a total of 3,299 cases including 32 deaths and 790 recoveries. A total of 2,144 COVID-19 patients were being treated at hospitals across the country as of Monday morning.
To ease the burden on overloaded quarantine centers, the MOHS on Tuesday reduced the quarantine period from 21 days to 14 days.
Previously, the government placed returnees from overseas and people with a history of contact with COVID-19 patients or travel to coronavirus hotspots under quarantine at makeshift government quarantine centers for 21 days.
Myanmar recorded 26 COVID-19 deaths in the two weeks from Sept. 4 to 14, after seeing a total of six in the first wave of cases from March 23 to Sept. 4.
On Monday morning, the MOHS reported four fatal COVID-19 cases: three in Yangon and one in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State. In the afternoon, this was followed by the deaths of two patients who had been treated at Yangon’s North Oakkalapa Hospital and Eastern Hospital. And in the evening the ministry reported the deaths of another six COVID-19 patients who had been treated at four hospitals in Yangon.
According to the MOHS, all of the 12 patients were aged above 50, and all had underlying diseases including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
The ministry is currently trying to provide 5,000 more hospital beds in Yangon to contain the spread of the coronavirus as the city’s caseload rapidly rises and its three main COVID-19 hospitals are almost full.
Myanmar’s commercial hub, Yangon has become the center of the country’s epidemic with 1,847 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning, while the second-hardest-hit state is Rakhine, with 722 cases.
Due to the rapid spread of the virus, Myanmar’s total number of cases is expected to overtake that of Thailand, which has reported more than 3,400 cases, in a few days.
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