Myanmar & COVID-19

Rohingya Detainee in Ayeyarwady Tests COVID-19 Positive

By Salai Thant Zin 2 September 2020

Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region—One of the 42 Rohingya detained in Mawlamyinegyun Township, Ayeyarwady Region, is infected with coronavirus, according to the authorities.

A total of 42 undocumented Rohingya from northern Rakhine State who arrived at the estuary in Hlinebone Village-tract on Aug. 27 were detained.

The Ayeyarwady regional government is keeping them in isolation in a makeshift quarantine center in Kyangin Township on the Rakhine-Ayeyarwady border.

The group consists of 11 men, 29 women and two children. Their nasal swabs were tested for COVID-19 at the National Laboratory in Yangon and a 21-year-old tested positive for the virus.

“He has been sent to Waibargi infectious diseases hospital in Yangon by the regional health department. As they are in quarantine and came from other places, we won’t trace their contacts,” head of Kyaungin Township health department U Kyaw Kyaw Hsan told The Irrawaddy.

According to the Ministry of Health and Sports, the patient is from Maungdaw Township in Rakhine State. He had no direct contact with earlier cases but had traveled to Bangladesh.

Fourteen Ayeyarwady police officers who transported the group from Mawlamyinegyun to Kyangin are also now being held in quarantine centers.

“Fourteen police from Labutta and Pyapon districts transported them, and they have been quarantined since that day. We are waiting for COVID-19 test results,” Ayeyarwady Region police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tun Shwe told The Irrawaddy.

Forty-one Rohingya are still in quarantine in Kyangin, receiving government health care and food.

“We are planning to send them back to Rakhine State. That’s why we built a temporary quarantine center on the Rakhine border,” said Ayeyarwady regional electricity, industry and transport minister U Win Htay.

Police have also detained four Rakhine boatmen who transported the Rohingya and a resident from Bogale Township in Ayeyarwady Region who helped with navigation.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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