mandag 12. juli 2021

Covid wave adds to Myanmar’s misery and woe

Journalists, activists and other observers are beginning to wonder if the absence of any large-scale demonstrations in Myanmar means that the junta’s brutal repression of the protests means that the anti-coup movement has run out of steam. But apart from lethal military repression, there is another killer force that is keeping Myanmar’s agitated people off the streets: a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, a viral surge that is far more serious than previous outbreaks in March and August last year.

According to official statistics from Myanmar’s coup-installed Ministry of Health and Sports, 296 of the country’s 330 townships are now affected by the disease. Data collected by the Coronavirus Detection Center at Johns Hopkins University show 118,752 confirmed cases and 3,756 fatalities in Myanmar, but those figures are, even if one relies on official reports, likely only the tip of the iceberg.

On July 10, the ministry announced 4,377 new cases nationwide based on only 15,128 swab tests conducted that day. If the figures are related, it would mean that almost a third of those tested turned were found to be Covid-19 positive.