Omicron Infections Increase – Karen Health Officials Tighten COVID-19 Restrictions and Prevention Guidelines

As Omicron infections rise, the Karen National Union health department officials have taken steps to enforce its Covid-19 prevention measures on people entering and exiting Karen National Union (KNU) controlled territory.

Padoh Saw Diamond Khin, head of the Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW), explained the Omicron variant – the fourth wave of Covid-19 – is on the increase in many parts of Burma, including Karen State, protocols and restriction to prevent the spread of the infection have been revised by districts health officials in KNU-controlled areas.

Padoh Saw Diamond Khin said rules to be followed in each township have been tightened to help stop the spread of Omicron.

“Currently, as the infection spreads very quickly, we have to set rules. If someone comes from a risk area, we have to test them. There are cases reported at the district and township areas, so Covid-19 rules have been set for each district and township official to contain the spread. We have to follow the rules.”

Padoh Saw Diamond Khin said the current Covid-19 infection can now be self-diagnosed, but due to fighting in the area, health officials are unable to systematically collect data. Although many cases have been reported, no severe cases or deaths have been reported.

As cases have been reported in the KNU’s Pa-an district entry and exit restrictions have been imposed for a week to help contain and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection. KDHW said infection prevention procedures have been revised and testing equipment has been used as needed.

Displaced communities in the Lay Kay Kaw area of the KNU’s Dooplaya district have also seen the Omicron variant infection level rise, more than 50 people so far have tested positive for Omicron in the past week. Local community leaders have set up a quarantine center to monitor patients showing symptoms of Omicron.

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