Shortage of medical supplies hampers fight against COVID-19 in Myanmar
Burmese citizens face serious medical treatment and supply issues in part because of the junta’s crackdown as the number of COVID-19 cases appears to increase.
Residents of Yangon, the largest city in the country hit by the coup, have defied a military curfew in a desperate search for oxygen for their loved ones to breathe in COVID-19, according to reports.
Residents told AFP they escaped in the dead of night to secure places in queues to fill oxygen cylinders – rejecting claims by the country’s military leaders that there were any more than enough for everyone.
Medical treatment in Myanmar is uneven and even before the coup and the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was not known for its good healthcare – those who could afford it usually traveled to neighboring Thailand where the facilities are first class.
It is not known what type of treatment is provided to people with symptoms of COVID-19. There are effective treatment regimens for people with early stage disease. Oxygen is usually prescribed for people with severe symptoms.
Currently, what is also unclear is the amount of testing done with the PCR test, a notoriously ineffective way of testing for COVID-19.
Worldwide, as the virus shows few signs of abating, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working on the second phase of an investigation into the origin of COVID-19 and urged China on Thursday to cooperate better.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for more access to raw data after a report compiled by a team of independent experts in Wuhan earlier this year was widely criticized for its lack of transparency and access.
Original claims vary from natural cause to virus made in a lab and accidentally or deliberately disclosed.