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Myawaddy Residents Fear Flooding, Closure of Treatment Centres and Rising COVID-19 Cases

The recent non-stop monsoon rain has swamped homes, schools, monasteries and COVID-19 treatment centers in the border town of Myawaddy, Karen State, Burma.

On July 27, 2021, more than 3,000 households were affected by floodwaters, especially those houses located near or on the banks of Thaung Yin (Moei) River. The Thaung Yin (Moei) River marks the international border between Burma and Thailand.

With continuous rains, the water level in Thaung Yin (Moei) River has risen above dangerous level and continues to rise.

More than 3,000 households were evacuated from Thae Pon Gate, Kyauk Phya Gate, Tha Phan Pin Gate, Tha Yet Pin Gate, Khun Sa Gate, Moe Gote Gate, Zee Taw Gate, Payar Lay Gate.

By 27 July, 10 temporary shelters were set up at schools and temples to house the more than 1,500 flood victims.

On July 26, the Shwe Myawaddy COVID-19 Center in Ward 4 was flooded and patients had to be immediately evacuated – a new designated center has yet to set up.

A Myawaddy resident who doesn’t want to be named told Karen News that if heavy rain continues, a replacement COVID-19 Center will need to be prepared urgently as Covid-19 cases are rising.

“Patients can’t stay in the same center if rain continue it’s now flooded. Authorities must prepare ahead of time for the new COVID-19 Center in a safer part of town.”

There are three COVID-19 Centers in Myawaddy, where around 600 COVID-19 positive patients with minor symptoms are now being treated. Patients with symptoms needing emergency care are being treated at the Myawaddy District Public Hospital and Thingan Nyinaung District Hospital.

Currently, the COVID-19 Centers don’t have enough oxygen, and patients who have been given oxygen at home, due to lack of space at the center, are struggling to get oxygen supplies on a daily basis.

As of July 25, township official records estimated in Myawaddy, there were 1,300 COVID-19 cases and more than 100 deaths. Local community groups fear with floods, treatment centres closed, case numbers are bound to be much higher.

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