Yangon, March 24, 2020:

Continuing its rampant spread across the world, the deadly COVID-19 has now been traced in as many as two persons in Myanmar, which shares its borders with several of the Northeast Indian States.

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According to a release issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports, it has been confirmed that persons — a 26-year-old returned from the UK, and a 36-year-old US green card holder — have both been tested POSITIVE for carrying the virus.

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The results from the Myanmar National Health Laboratory were released on March 23 at 11 pm (local time) and will be sent to a WHO-accredited laboratory in Thailand today, the Myanmar Health Ministry said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the patient who returned from the UK, arrived in Yangon on March 22, and was quarantined in Hlegu and subsequently moved to Hmawbi, where he tested positive. He has now been shifted to an isolation ward in Wabargyi Hospital.
Concerns have been raised about the capability of the government to respond to a possible outbreak, especially because of the lack of medical facilities.

Last week, the United Kingdom urged its citizens to leave the country amid concerns the country’s health care system would not be able to provide adequate care in case of an outbreak. On Monday, hours before the Health Ministry confirmed the first two COVID-19 cases, the US Embassy announced the recall of 67 Peace Corps volunteers deployed across the country to teach English in schools, as the pandemic worsens around the world.

The COVID-19 has now killed 16,568 people and infected 382,366, causing widespread panic and mass hysteria across the world.

Meanwhile, the detection of the the virus has caused a situation of hue-and-cry in the entire nation of Myanmar. About an hour after the Health Ministry made the announcement, which was close to midnight, people rushed to supermarkets and convenience stores to buy food and other supplies as there are fears that the Government might impose a lockdown.

The detection of cases in Myanmar, which shares several porous borders with the NE Indian states, has put the entire region edge. To compound the Northeast India’s woes, the State of Manipur has also reported its first case of the COVID-19.

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A 23-year-old girl from Imphal West district of Manipur has been tested positive for COVID-19, thereby making it the first positive case of Manipur on Tuesday morning. It is also the first detection in the Northeast.

While speaking with Inside Northeast, Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, Y Joykumar Singh said, “One case has been depicted as positive. So, now we are taking the possible precautions that are necessary.

He added, “She has come back from London. She was traveling to Imphal. Most likely she has come from Delhi. She came by Air Asia. So, we are now checking the flight manifesto of who all were passengers so that we trace them and see if anyone has developed the same infection or not.”

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