Citing Rising COVID-19 Rates in Burma, KIO Halts Travel Into Its Territory

The Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) COVID-19 response committee has ordered a stop to all entry into its territory as of October 1, due to rising rates of infection in Burmese administrated areas. 

Secretary of the committee Col Hing Wawm said that “one or two” people who had contact with patients who tested positive in towns under Burmese government control had recently entered the KIO’s area, prompting a halt to further entries.

“We will close crossings into our territory until the spread of COVID-19 is under control,” he told KNG.

According a KIO statement, travelers and vehicles are no longer allowed to pass the Maisak Pa checkpoint, signifying entrance into the KIO area.

Col Hing Wawm said that the KIO had closed multiple checkpoints, including Maisak Pa and Mai Ja Yang.

The KIO warned in its statement that locals will need to prepare for an upcoming food shortage that could accompany the closure of the checkpoints.

Nearly 200 people are quarantined at four locations in the KIO’s territory, according to Col Hing Wawm. More than 100 people in the region had been tested for COVID-19 with Chinese assistance as of Thursday. None of the tests have come back positive.


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