Southern Shan State Has More Than 70 COVID-19 Cases

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Some 73 people currently have COVID-19 in southern Shan State, according to the public health department.

Quarantine Center at TCL
Quarantine Center at TCL

A total of 227 confirmed cases were reported in the region as of November 22, but with 154 recoveries, 73 are still receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus, according to Dr. Zawana Ko, the deputy head of the state’s public health department.

Since voting was held in the country’s November 8 general election, Shan State has been seeing new cases of COVID-19 every day. On Sunday, the Ministry of Health and Sports reported three new infections in Shan State: in Lashio, Namsang, and Mongpan townships.

Dr. Zawana Ko blamed members of the public for not adhering to social distancing regulations and public health guidelines as strictly as they did when the virus was first identified in the country in late March.

“People aren’t following health guidelines during this second wave of COVID-19,” the doctor told SHAN. “Many wore face masks during the first outbreak. But now they’re not bothering to use them. They’re not getting tested when they feel sick and they’re not cooperating with health officials,” he said.

In rural areas of ethnic states in particular, there is often distrust of Burma’s government health system, which has not extended services to many remote areas, and which is seen by many as an arm of the same centralized administration that ethnic nationalities have long been struggling against for equal rights and greater self-determination.

At the time of reporting, there had been a total of 79,246 confirmed cases across country since the virus was first detected in Burma in late March. Some 58,758 patients have recovered from the disease and 1,739 have died.

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