Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar's KBZ Bank Donates Nearly $1M to Coronavirus Efforts

By The Irrawaddy 6 April 2020

Myanmar’s largest private bank, Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank, airlifted in hospital supplies from China as part of a 1.4 billion-kyat (nearly US$1 million) donation to Myanmar’s health ministry for use in combatting COVID-19.

Some conglomerates in Myanmar are supporting the government in the fight against the coronavirus by donating medical supplies such as masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as money.

KBZ Bank Deputy Chief Executive Director Nang Lang Kham gave the supplies to Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) Deputy Director-General Dr. Tun Myint at the Yangon International Airport last Friday.

The supplies included 23,000 sets of PPE and 700,000 surgical masks, as well as hand gel, thermometers, N-95 masks, safety googles, foot covers and gloves.

KBZ Bank transported some supplies across the China-Myanmar border in the last week of March, but to fulfill the urgent need in Myanmar, the bank also chartered a Myanmar Airways International plane to airlift supplies from Guangzhou, China.

The bank also donated 600,000 surgical masks and 3,000 sets of PPE that it imported from China through the Muse border checkpoint in Shan State between March 27 and Friday.

On March 18, KBZ bank and its counterpart, KBZ MS General Insurance, donated 100 million kyats (over US$71,000) to MOHS for COVID-19 treatment.

Myanmar so far has 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, including one patient with nasal cancer who died last week.

MOHS spokesman Dr. Tha Tun Kyaw told The Irrawaddy that the government is doing its best to prepare hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients, in case Myanmar has more confirmed cases in the near future.

“Whether these donated supplies will be enough for treatment is hard to tell, as we don’t know yet how many more patients we will have,” he said on Monday.

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