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The risk of Myanmar becoming a super-distributor of COVID-19

Due to the virtually non-functioning health care after the February coup from Myanmar, COVID-19 can spread uncontrollably throughout Southeast Asia and beyond, the UN special rapporteur said.

Due to the deep political and economic crisis, Myanmar may become a state from which the coronavirus infection will begin to spread uncontrollably throughout Southeast Asia and beyond, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said in an interview with The Guardian.

According to him, after the military coup in February, there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, the vaccination program has slowed down, testing of citizens is not carried out, and hospitals are practically not functioning.

Andrews noted that the UN does not know the exact number of cases of coronavirus infection in Myanmar. “We know that this is a serious outbreak. This is a very rapid increase [in the number of infected people], " the special rapporteur warned. He noted that attacks on doctors and journalists in the country make it difficult to transmit reliable information about the crisis caused by the pandemic.

The independent publication The Irrawaddy reported that over the past two months, more than 4.6 thousand people have died from coronavirus in Myanmar. The newspaper wrote that these figures are underestimated since charities involved in the transportation of the dead claimed that they deal with more than a thousand corpses every day.

State media controlled by the military junta reported that ten crematoriums will be built in the country's largest city, Yangon, each of which will be able to cremate up to 3 thousand bodies a day.

Andrews stressed that doctors in Myanmar are on strike, refuse to work in public hospitals, face pressure and threats, and are forced to treat people in secret. According to the UN representative, queues are forming in Myanmar for medical oxygen, in crematoriums and morgues.

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