Fifty Buddhist nuns have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak at a teaching facility in Lashio where they are studying.
After the Hita Cari teaching facility informed the health department that several nuns had fallen ill, all 113 nuns at the centre were tested with Rapid Test Detection (RTD) on Friday, August 27.
According to the volunteer Sai Wathon, all who tested positive were quarantined. ”After the health department informed us, we sent 10 vehicles to pick them up,” he said.
Lashio is battling one of the largest outbreaks in Shan State where authorities have ordered residents to stay indoors. According to the health department, 3,000 cases have been confirmed while 300 people have died from the disease in the town in northern Shan State.
Southwest of Lashio, in Nawngkio Township, health officials detected another outbreak when they began using RDTs to test villages.
“As part of a pilot project, we started looking for COVID-19 in the villages, prioritizing those with symptoms. What we found was that many villagers tested positive,” a volunteer told SHAN.
Of the 369 people they tested in four zones in Nawngkio town and surrounding villages, 124 were infected with the pathogen. The volunteer explained that they did not have enough kits to test everyone.
A local resident told SHAN, if they did more testing, they could help control the outbreak by lowering infection rates.
According to Nawingkio Township Health Department, as of August 28, there have been 1,641 infections in the community, while 1,076 have recovered and 42 people have died.
The military junta’s COVID-19 Control and Emergency Response Committee announced on August 26 that testing will be prioritized in Lashio, Tachileik, Nawng Shwe, Taunggyi, Kengtung and Lawksawk townships in Shan State.