COVID-19 Outbreak Strikes Northern Chin State Town

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Medical staff in a hospital in a small northern Chin State town struggle to contain an outbreak where there are seven active cases and only three health workers without a doctor onsite. Altogether, twenty-five transmissions have been detected in Kyihka, Tongzan township, from May 11-27.

The senior nurse told Khonumthung News the cases were discovered during testing at the outpatient department. Most recovered and have been sent home.

“We have to take care of all our patients ourselves and call the senior physicians to ask their suggestions before administering medical treatment,” the nurse explained.

Doctors and other medical staff who joined Civil Disobedience Movement refuse to work under the military coup. A skeleton staff have remained on duty to treat emergency cases at the hospital.

Six of the COVID patients are hooked up to ventilators powered by diesel generators, the nurse explained, and family members pay the fuel costs. The problem is the generators have to be turned off for two hours every 24-hours, and the patients won’t receive oxygen during this time.

After reporting the outbreak to health officials in Naypyitaw, the nurse expects medicine and 500 test kits to arrive soon.

Kyihka is located along the border. Some people believe travelers coming back from Manipu State in India are spreading the virus, however, it is unclear if the Indian variant is in the border town.

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