A growing COVID crisis is taking the humanitarian disaster in Myanmar from bad to worse. Health experts predict that half of Myanmar’s 55 million people could be infected within three weeks as the situation is complicated by an oxygen shortage, very poor healthcare, and medical personnel hiding from the military.
Long lines greet Naw Oo as she tries to refill the two oxygen tanks her father needs each day.
Although he has COVID-19 and could infect others, Naw Oo has no choice but to bring him along because every second counts for him to be able to breathe in air.
Naw Oo said, “My family has no income and I have used up all my savings for my father’s medical needs but what worries me is that oxygen supply is running out.”
According to a funeral charity group, many of the people they buried recently died because of this lack of oxygen.
Bodies also now fill corridors of crematoriums. Since February’s military takeover, neither the government nor ministries of health have been functioning effectively.
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Health workers who participated in civil disobedience to show their support to the ousted government must now perform their duties in hiding over the fear of being attacked or arrested by the military.
A fugitive doctor shared how the military attacked his colleagues, “All the medical equipment were confiscated. My colleagues, four doctors, and a nurse were abducted while they were seeing the patients.”
The World Health Organization reports more than 240 attacks on health care professionals.
One fugitive doctor told us he wants international pressure put on the ruling body to end the military crackdown. He’s worried the third wave of infections could be even more severe.
“The junta doesn’t seem to mind this, and continues attacks on the health care, while the military and their families have all been vaccinated,” the fugitive doctor added.
Despite the danger, he and his fellow health workers continue caring for the sick and injured.
He said, “It is our humanitarian duty to see the patients, even under threat. Treating and seeing patients isn’t illegal in any part of the world, but in Myanmar.”
Meanwhile, CBN’s Operation Blessing is distributing antigen test kits and vitamins to several communities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.