Village in Chin state quarantined as third Myanmar citizen tests positive for coronavirus

The health ministry has confirmed Myanmar’s third coronavirus infection after testing a 26-year-old man who recently returned from the UK.

The patient, a Myanmar citizen, tested positive for the disease while under quarantine at Insein General Hospital in Yangon, the ministry said in a statement early Wednesday morning.

He developed a fever and a cough two days after arriving home on March 21, the statement said, adding that he transited through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He has been kept under observation on an isolation ward since March 23. The ministry said Wednesday his condition is improving.

Myanmar’s first two confirmed cases were announced Monday evening. They were another 26-year-old man returning to Myanmar from the UK and a 36-year-old man returning from the US, both Myanmar citizens.

The former was quarantined at a public health training centre in Hlegu, near Yangon, then transferred to Yangon’s Waibargi Infectious Disease Hospital. He has so far shown no symptoms.

The older man is being quarantined and treated at a hospital in Tedim, Chin state. Authorities have imposed travel restrictions on a village in the area where the man held a celebration recently, a president’s office spokesperson said.

Chin State Map (Credit: Myanmar Information Management Unit/ MIMU)

Village quarantined

The 36-year-old, who was sick but did not display flu-like symptoms, was quarantined at the Tedim Public Hospital in northern Chin State on March 21, the ministry said. He returned from the US on March 13.

Authorities have quarantined nearby Kaptel village, where the man held a celebration upon his return, a spokesperson from the president’s office said on Facebook on Tuesday.

Some 3,600 residents have been told not to leave the village, which is about 20 miles from Tedim.

The man travelled from Yangon to Kalay, just east of the border with Chin, by plane before travelling to Tedim by bus on March 17.

All five plane crew members are now being quarantined at their homes, president’s office spokesperson Zaw Htay said on Tuesday.

The plane was disinfected and authorities are trying to find and quarantine the other passengers, he added. Thirteen passengers who were on the same bus are now being quarantined at home.

Travel between Tedim from Kalay has now been restricted, with people passing across the border between Sagaing and Chin subject to temperature checks and travellers barred from making the full journey between the two towns.

After a fake story circulated on social media Tuesday claiming the man had died, the physician treating him, Dr Kyaw Zin Lin, said he was in good condition.

“He is healthy now and very cooperative. Things are going well,” he told Myanmar Now on Tuesday.

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