Interim Govt Cooperates With Ethnic Health Organizations To Stop Burma’s Third Wave

By Network Media Group
Saturday, July 24, 2021

Burma’s National Unity Government has formed a COVID-19 Task Force (CTF) in a bid to control outbreaks and provide treatment in the ethnic areas amid the country’s third wave.

“The pandemic is still happening in Burma and we need to take effective action against it. The Ethnic Health Committee (EHC) and the health department for National Unity Government (NUG) discussed the matter and agreed to cooperate,” said Padoh Mahn Mahn, EHC secretary.

EHC consists of several ethnic health groups operating in Burma’s border regions, some of which are in areas controlled by ethnic armed organisations. CTF intends to piggyback on EHC’s pre-existent health infrastructure in Karen, Mon, Shan and Karenni states.

Padoh Mahn Mahn told NMG that EHC’s chair Dr Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mao Tao Clinic, is CTF’s team leader. Dr Zaw Wai Soe, NUG’s health minister, is the deputy team leader for the task force.

CTF will launch a COVID-19 awareness campaign and cooperate with international partners to stop the spread of the pathogen, explained Padoh Mahn Mahn, who hopes the task force will receive the support it needs to fulfill these objectives.

During Burma’s third wave, the death toll has been shockingly high. The Ministry of Health and Sports, controlled by the military council, detected 6,093 transmissions on July 22, while 247 died from this disease.

Since the regime only counts those admitted to the hospital, numbers are likely much higher because many people with the disease are staying home. The high fatalities can be attributed to a shortage of oxygen tanks and the crumbling health system. Many of the country’s health professionals went into hiding after the regime issued warrants for their arrests for initiating the Civil Disobedience Movement.