Myan­mar virus con­tain­ment plan pushed to brink

Arab News - - News Internatio­nal -

Myan­mar has quar­an­tined tens of thou­sands of peo­ple to pre­vent a coro­n­avirus out­break from over­whelm­ing its frag­ile health care sys­tem but public health ex­perts and doc­tors say the strat­egy is on the brink of col­lapse as in­fec­tions surge. Myan­mar is hous­ing more than 45,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing COVID-19 pa­tients as well as those yet to be tested, their close con­tacts and re­turn­ing mi­grant work­ers, in build­ings from schools and monas­ter­ies to gov­ern­ment of­fices and tower blocks.

Even those with no symp­toms or mild symp­toms are hos­pi­tal­ized or quar­an­tined, part of an am­bi­tious plan to stop the virus. But Myan­mar’s “max­i­mum con­tain­ment” strat­egy could back­fire if over­bur­dened fa­cil­i­ties put peo­ple off quar­an­tine al­to­gether, said public health ex­pert Kyaw San Wai.

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