COVID-19 Infections Surpass 100 in Eastern Shan State

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By HSENG LENG / SHAN

In two weeks, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in eastern Shan State has reached 104.

COVID test at Tun Mongjet
COVID test at Mongjet Cave , Mong Hsat

Tachileik, a town on Shan State’s border with Thailand, has the most cases of the coronavirus in the region, with authorities restricting travel to and from the township.

“There are 75 cases in Tachileik, seven cases in Mongton, seven cases in Mong Yawng, three cases in Mong Pyin, three cases in Mong Yang and two cases in Mong Hsat,” Dr. Ba Soe Thet, deputy head of eastern Shan State’s health department, told SHAN.

He added that 18 people had recovered from the virus and been discharged from hospitals.

Dr. Ba Soe Thet said that it remains difficult to carry out contract tracing in eastern Shan State, because many of the infections spread through engagement in activities in Tachileik’s often illicit entertainment industry.  

“It started from KTV [karaoke]. It’s really difficult to search for people who visit massage parlors and hotels,” the doctor told SHAN.

SHAN previously reported that hotels serving these venues had remained open despite orders to close, including one linked to multiple cases of COVID-19 brought to neighboring Thailand.

Tachileik local Sai Nyunt said that “many people are afraid” of the virus spreading further in the border town.

Burma’s Ministry of Health and Sports has confirmed 100,431 cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 79,240 recoveries and 2,132 deaths as of December 8.

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