Three days into the virtual closing of Myanmar’s most populous city, the surge of newly detected coronavirus cases fell to 83 this morning as hospitals race to ramp up capacity.
Restaurants big and small around the region are dark as is the airport as no nonessential travel has been allowed in or out of the city since Friday. Those new restrictions came after a surge of hundreds of new cases detected daily, doubling the total caseload in one week.
The death toll that stood at eight six days ago is now 24. As Myanmar’s caseload grows exponentially, its hospitals struggle to keep up, and beds have been added to double their capacity. The 500-bed Phaunggyi Hospital hit 495 patients and was expected to add another 500 beds, according to state epidemiologist Khin Khin Gyi. Other Yangon hospitals were also reaching their limits.
Seven townships had already been partially sealed off, and those containment efforts have now expanded to those of South Okkalapa, Tamwe, Mayangone, Kamayut, North Dagon, Hlaing Tharyar, Sanchaung, Botahtaung, Mingala Taung Nyunt, South Dagon, Yankin, Dagon, Kyimyindine, Kyauktada, East Dagon, Ahlone, Bahan, Dagon Seikkan, Dawpon, Lanmadaw and Hlegu.
As of Monday morning, there have been 3,015 infections and 24 deaths counted since the outbreak began. In Yangon’s Yangon’s most infected township, Thingangyun, 73 people are now known to have been infected at Music Zone karaoke, health officials reported. Patient No. 1,061 was a 26-year-old woman believed to have sickened dozens she came into contact with at the karaoke parlor. Mg Mg Oo, representative of Yangon’s Hluttaw region said the venue’s owner would be prosecuted for violating COVID-19 suppression rules.
“If each of you follow these precautions and restrictions for two or three weeks, there will be fewer infections, and the virus will be under control eventually,” State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said over social media, announcing the restrictions would stay in place until further notice. “Stay at home as much as you can.”
All domestic air travel has been halted until Oct. 1 at the earliest.