Mon, September 27, 2021


[Myanmar] Taunggyi, the town facing its record Covid-19 mortality and infections

Taunggyi, the revived capital of Shan State, has been silent since July 26. During the third wave, Taunggyi’s outbreak started in mid-July and has gradually surpassed Lashio. From June to early July, the death toll was less than 20, but by July 30, the death toll had risen to 97. As of July 17, less than 20 patients had died. On July 22, the sound of ambulances wailed along a road leading to a cemetery in Taunggyi as up to 11 people died due to COVID-19 disease.



From that day onwards, the sound of ambulances has been heard daily. The number of deaths per day is calculated by calculating the number of fatalities per vehicle passing by.

During the first wave of COVID-19 in Taunggyi, the roads were cleared in April during the Thingyan period. The scenes were seen again on July 26.

According to lists collected on July 29, most of the cases in Taunggyi are in densely populated areas such as Sein Pan, Shwe Taung and Kyaunggyi Su wards. There are 117 cases in Sein Pan, 153 cases in Kyaunggyi Su, 100 cases in the Thittawv and 93 cases in Shwe Taung.

As I was writing this, I saw a hearse in the neighborhood carrying a dead body, followed by a small number of motorcycles, in the afternoon.

A small town that was peaceful

When the COVID-19 outbreak began in 2020 in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, was able to successfully overcome due to public support, but by the third wave of COVID-19, it was not able to cope with surging infections.

From 2020 to January 2021, the number of cases of COVID-19 was 100 in the state, but only three of them died. According to data from January 2, a total of 934 cases had been reported in the state. 226 people are currently being treated at the hospital. 705 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 disease and three people died, according to the Department of Treatment and Public Health for the state.The third wave hit the quiet town in June, and the death toll from COVID-19 disease rose substantially in mid-July.

Taunggyi surpasses Lashio

As of July 23, the number of infected people in Lashio had risen to 1,435 during the third wave of COVID-19, and 796 of them had been discharged. Up to 73 people died of COVID-19 and many more have died in their homes, according to social welfare associations.

As of 6 pm on July 30, 1,747 cases had been reported in Taunggyi, southern Shan State during the third wave of the COVID-19, and 97 patients had died, according to a statement from the Taunggyi Township Administration Department (GAD).

In Taunggyi Township, from June 1 to July 30 at 6 pm, there were 1,747 confirmed cases and 618 hospital discharges. A total of 97 patients died and 1,032 patients are still receiving treatment at hospitals, according to the statement.

The list is officially confirmed from centers and hospitals, but does not include a list of deaths from those being treated at home on their own initiative.

A total of 120 new cases of COVID-19: 59 PCR and 61 RDT tests, have been reported on July 28, and 11 more have died of COVID-19, it said.

On July 28, 81 people from Taunggyi, 17 from Aye Thar Yar, 18 from Shwe Nyaung, one from Kyauktalonegyi and three from a village tract are found infected with the virus.

On July 30, 101 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, with 12 more deaths. A total of 45 cases were tested using PCR test and 56 cases were found using RDT test, it said.

“Stay at Home” order was imposed in Taunggyi from July 26 due to the high rate of transmission from the third wave of COVID-19 virus in the town.

A center, which can house 200 patients, at the Sports and Physical Education School in Aye Thayar, has been set up to accommodate the confirmed patients. Currently, the confirmed patients are kept at the medical center in Sao San Tun Hospital, Women and Children's Hospital, Computer University and College of Education.

During the third wave, the number of infected people in Taunggyi increased and volunteers in the area sprayed disinfectants as more people became ill and lost their sense of smell and taste.

Rising mortality rate

The third wave began on June 1 in Taunggyi when a man was found infected with the virus. On June 2, four men were tested positive. On June 26, a total of 42 people: 29 males and 13 females, were found infected with the virus.

No deaths were reported early in the third wave. It started on July 6 with the death of a woman in Thittaw ward. The next day, another man from Aye Thar Yar died of the virus. The next day, on July 8, a man in Nyaung Phyu Sakhan ward also died. On July 9, two men living in Yadanar Thiri and Kan Auk wards died again. As of July 18, up to 20 patients had died.

A total of 11 patients died on July 22 alone. There were five deaths on July 23, six deaths on July 24, seven deaths on July 25, four deaths on July 26, nine deaths on July 27, 11 deaths on July 28, five deaths on July 29 and 12 deaths on July 30. Up to 70 patients have died of the virus in nine day time, it said.

Collection of oxygen cylinders

As soon as the third wave of COVID-19 disease began, Taunggyi locals had to start buying oxygen cylinders for the convenience of the oxygen plants.

Although finding contact persons, spraying disinfectants, and giving assistance to the patients was provided in the first and second waves, priority is given to collecting oxygen, spraying disinfectants and giving treatment to the patients in the third wave.

Two oxygen plants will be built in Taunggyi with donations from local people, and oxygen cylinders have been procured. In Aye Thayar, an oxygen plant is starting to be built with donations from the locals.

“Stay at Home” imposed in Taunggyi

During the development of COVID-19 pandemic in Taunggyi, the Development Affairs Committee in Taunggyi announced no shops are allowed to open except for the shops selling medicines and basic commodities in the markets in Taunggyi. The markets are allowed to open from 7:30 am to 12 pm. The committee has issued a notice to follow the instructions regarding COVID-19 issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS).

In addition, vendors selling at the Clock Tower Night Market in Taunggyi Market Quarter and Night-38 Night Market in the Thittaw Quarter will be subject to temporary closure and it they are not followed, they will be taken action against the existing laws.

In Taunggyi, wards’ administrators notified the people to issue out-of-town shopping cards on the morning of July 27, and in some wards, the cards had been issued since July 26. One card for each household will be issued and they will be able to use them for shopping and work. People can only go out if they have a good reason to go out. Failure to comply will result in action being taken in accordance with existing laws.

During the COVID-19 pandemic control, flea and street markets will be open to the public from 6 am to 10 am and are not allowed to open shops selling clothes, cosmetics, plates and pots except for vegetables, meat, fish and medicines. The Taunggyi Township Development Affairs Committee has issued a notice to follow the instructions regarding COVID-19 issued by the MOHS when shopping at street markets.

In addition, The Taunggyi Township Development Affairs Committee has announced restaurants and teashops are allowed to be opened with takeaway system. The shops are allowed to open from 7 am to 6 pm and not after that and to follow the instructions regarding COVID-19 issued by the MOHS.

Parks, gardens, recreation centers, playgrounds and guesthouses opened in Taunggyi Township Development Zone, will be temporarily closed from July 26. Failure to comply with these instructions will result in legal action under the Disaster Management Law.

In addition, street vendors and sellers who are selling food on push carts, vehicles, motorcycles in the wards are not allowed to make business during the Stay at Home period and failure to comply with these instructions will result in legal action under the existing laws.

In addition, shops such as gold shops, electronics shops, cosmetics shops, clothes shops, hairdressings, tyres shops, car accessories shops, mosquito net and mattress shops, traditional shops, phone accessories shops and shoe stores are ordered to close except for pharmacies, grocery stores, department stores, private markets, stores, snacks shops and other shops in Taunggyi Township development area. All grocery stores, convenience stores, department stores, private markets, stores and snacks shops except pharmacies that are allowed to open from 6 am to 12 pm. Failure to comply will result in legal action.

More damages in the third wave

In the third wave of COVID-19, farmers, Business people, labourers, many people were affected economically. There are people who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 and those who have become depressed and lost.

I am praying that with the rains pouring down in July, the third wave of COVID-19 entered, and with that, the pandemic will be overcome not only in Myanmar but all over the world.

Published : August 04, 2021

By : Sithar Hein/Eleven Media/ANN