An outbreak was detected in a camp in Kyaukme Township where villagers were displaced by fighting between rival ethnic armed organisations in northern Shan State.
At least 12 people tested positive for COVID-19, including two pregnant women and two children living in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in the town of Mong Ngor.
“Their nasal and throat swabs were sent to Lashio for testing. Their health is fine,” a man working at a COVID-19 quarantine centre in town told SHAN. Health workers tested 124 people in Mong Ngor and 19 were infected, including in the IDP camp.
A third wave has overwhelmed Burma at a time when most of the country’s health workers are in hiding, having walked off the job in protest against the military regime.
Just over a hundred people live in the IDP camp in Tar Lon Buddhist monastery, after fleeing fighting between Restoration Council of Shan State and combined forces of the Shan State Progress Party and Ta’ang National Liberation Army.
“They aren’t following the COVID-19 regulations and that’s why they got COVID-19,” the male source told SHAN, explaining that the IDPs are not wearing face masks in the camp which is located near to town residents.
The infected have been taken to a quarantine centre in Mong Ngor while the camp is kept under lockdown.
Due to the lockdown and travel restrictions imposed by the military council, ”the IDPs are suffering from food insecurity” Loung Liang Han, chair of Shan Literature and Culture Association for Kyaukme Township, told SHAN.
Loung Liang Han, who’s helping the IDPs, explained that there’s very little food left in the camp. He said that 500 IDPs are living in the town in 7 camps and over 2,500 in the township.