BANGKOK, THAILAND – Myanmar’s COVID-19 battle is facing further complications amid the fallout from February’s military coup.
This week, the opposition National Unity Government declared a “defensive war” against the ruling junta government. Next week, the United Nations will hold its 76th General Assembly, and will decide whether the junta or the civilian government will be recognized for a U.N seat.
The country is still fighting a third COVID-19 wave at a time of increasing political tensions. According to World Health Organization data, more than 400,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Myanmar, with more than 16,000 dead
There are concerns, though, that those figures are much higher.
Sasa, a medical doctor from Chin State and the NUG’s minister of international cooperation who only goes by one name, told VOA thousands more may have died than officially recorded.
“We are calculating the number from 40,000 to 400,000 could have died. … It’s impossible for us to understand the level of death. Half the population, 35 to 37 million in Myanmar could be infected by COVID-19 … [it is] a real scale of things,” he told VOA via video call.
“So many people died, we cannot even, and there is no way for us to, count the deaths. The line on the oxygen, and the line to the cemetery, those are the … lines for queue in the last few months,” he added.