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Myanmar’s COVID-19 outbreak affects health systems after the coup

A new coronavirus patient at a hospital near the Myanmar border with India is breathless, gasping for breath and lacks the extra oxygen that could help them stay alive. It underlined the threat to the health system on the verge of collapse since the February coup.

to help her care for 7 COVID-1

9 patients at Cikha Hospital day and night. Head nurse Lun Za En has laboratory technicians and assistant pharmacists.

Most offer kind words and paracetamol.

“We don’t have enough oxygen. There is enough medical equipment, enough electricity, enough doctors or enough ambulances,” Lun Zaen, 45, told Reuters from a city of just 10,000 people. “We are operating with three staff instead of 11.”

Anti-Covid-19 campaign Myanmar’s start-up with other health systems After the military seized power on February 1 and toppled elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the government stepped up testing, detention and treatment procedures.

Service in public hospitals collapsed after dozens of doctors and nurses joined the protests in the civil disobedience movement that has been at the vanguard of opposition to military rule. and sometimes at the forefront of bloody repressive protests.

Stephen Paul Jost, the WHO representative for Myanmar, said 13 doctors had died of 179 attacks on health workers. Facilities and transport 179 cases, nearly half of the attacks worldwide this year.

About 150 health workers have been arrested, and hundreds of doctors and nurses have been charged with sedition.

Neither the junta spokesman nor the health ministry responded to requests for comment. The junta, which originally made fighting the pandemic one of the priorities Has repeatedly called for doctors to return to work. Few people will answer

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Workers at a COVID-19 quarantine center one in Yangon Myanmar’s commercial capital said all specialist health workers there had joined the civil disobedience movement.

“Then again We no longer receive new patients. because the COVID testing center has no staff to test it,” said the employee, who declined to be named for fear of punishment.

The week before the coup covid-19 test Nationwide, it averaged more than 17,000 per day, dropping below 1,200 per day in the seven days through Wednesday.

Myanmar has reported more than 3,200 deaths from COVID-19 among more than 140,000 cases, although low test results cast doubt on data showing new cases and deaths. Most have plateaued since the coup.

Crisis health systems are now raising concerns about the country’s potential impact from the wave of infections spreading across India, Thailand and other neighboring countries.

Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 began showing up at Cikha Hospital in mid-May. It’s just 6km (4 miles) from India, and health workers fear the illness may be a highly contagious B.1.617.2 strain. even if they had no way to test it.

“It is of great concern that testing, treatment and vaccination for COVID-19 in Myanmar is limited. This is because life is more at risk with the spread of new, more dangerous strains,” said Louis Sfer-Unis, operations manager for COVID-19. of Myanmar’s International Federation of Myanmar said the Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.

case power surge

Lun Za En said that of the twenty-four patients diagnosed in Cikha, seven were so serious that they required hospitalization. This is a sign that few cases are detected.

Stay-at-home orders have now been announced in parts of Chin State. which is the location of the city of Sikha and nearby Sagaing

The World Health Organization said Trying to reach staff and other groups in areas where assistance can be provided While recognizing the frustration in the health system that has reversed impressive gains for years.

“It’s not clear how this can be fixed. Unless there is a resolution at the political level to deal with political conflicts,” Jost said.

Lun Za En said her hospital was doing its best with the inhaler. A machine that turns liquid into mist to relieve suffocation Some patients have oxygen concentrators. But they only work two hours a day for the city to get electricity.

refusing to abandon the sick Lun Zaen said she had decided not to join the protest.

“The junta will not take care of our patients,” she said.

all over Myanmar Some prominent doctors have set up underground clinics to help their patients. When Myanmar Red Cross volunteers set up three clinics in Yangon They quickly had dozens of patients.

the best Such options can provide basic care.

“Eighty percent of hospitals are public health hospitals,” said Marjan Besuijen, mission leader of the Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) aid group. “As MSF or anyone else, we cannot step in. It’s too big.”

Although the military hospital is open to the public. But many fear or refuse to adhere to the principles. This includes vaccinating against the coronavirus in a campaign the ousted government has embarked on several days before the coup.

“I’m very worried that these new infections will spread across the country,” said Lun Sha-en. “If the infection spreads to a crowded city, It may be out of control.”

Our Standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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