An COVID-19 outbreak has spread among residents and volunteers at an internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in Mongkoe (Muse District) in northern Shan State, where more than 100 people have contracted the virus.
According to a volunteer, 97 IDPs and 5 volunteers have fallen ill as of 23 September. ”Yesterday, 18 people tested positive. With so many sick in the camp, it’s difficult to find a place for all the patients,” and 40 have been taken to the hospital in Mongkoe, he said.
Intense fighting between the military and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army in the area has forced more than 700 villagers from their homes in the township of the same name since late August. Most of them are staying in Buddhist monasteries or churches in the town.
Some families have decided to expose themselves to the risk of continued violence rather than contract the pathogen in the camp. A total of 17 families have returned to their villages Mang Kwan, Zup Ra, Nawng Lian and Nam Ha. Those who’ve remained in the overcrowded camps are in urgent need of food and medicine, the source told SHAN.
Outbreaks are also happening in camps in Kyaukme Township, where fierce fighting between rival ethnic armed groups has been raging for months. Shan groups are also fighting over territory in Mong Kung Township in southern Shan State.