Over 800 civilians in Kyaukme Township urgently require emergency food rations and other aid after fighting between ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) in northern Shan State forced them from their homes.
Northern Alliance members Shan State Progress Party and Ta’ang National Liberation Army attacked Restoration Council of Shan State in Tawt Sang village tract on July 1. Villagers fled to the Mong Ngor sub-township where they are staying in Kon Kauk village at Mang Pint monastery and Ywama Nam Sung Buddhist monasteries, and with relatives in the sub-township.
A 40-year-old volunteer told SHAN because IDPs couldn’t bring anything with them when the violence happened locals are helping them with food, clothing and medicine. The source explained more villagers affected by the clashes keep arriving.
Although the EAOs are frequently fighting in the area, an IDP said clashes from June 30 to July 1 were intense therefore it is no longer possible to remain in their villages. They walked for 3 hours before finding safety from the violence. Some residents from Tawt Sang village tract have yet to return to their homes after fighting erupted between the EAOs in the area last year.
Locals and volunteer groups said it was difficult providing the IDPs assistance in Kyaukme Township because of the political crisis and the recent outbreak.
Since early June, at least 20 people died from the pathogen in Shan State, where in the last month there have been over one thousand infections.
A volunteer from the town of Kyaukme told SHAN there were 63 cases detected on July 1. “Authorities ordered markets to close in downtown Kyaukme starting tomorrow (July 3).” According to the source, restaurants can only sell takeout, however, schools are still open.
There were fifteen cases discovered in the nearby town of Hsipaw town from July 1-2.
On June 27, the Ministry of Health and Sports, now controlled by the military council, issued a stay at home order for Lashio and Laukkai. A volunteer helping patients told SHAN that 73 tested positive on July 1. On the same day, seven people died from COVID-19 in Lashio Public Hospital.
Altogether twelve people have died from the disease in Lashio, where there have been a total of 482 infections.
On July 2, a 35-year-old woman died in Namtu after acquiring the virus. Five cases are receiving medical care at the hospital in the town about 65km northwest of Lashio.
In eastern Shan State along the Thai border, there were 14 cases discovered between July 1-2, where there have been 30 cases detected.