Outbreak Affects Remote Town In Putao District

An outbreak is rapidly spreading in the northernmost town of Kachin State, with nearly one hundred cases reported so far.

According to a man from remote Nogmung in Putao District, some families are staying on their farms after 70 cases were detected in the town by 21 October, after the first transmission was reported just ten days earlier.

”COVID-19 is spreading very fast in Nogmung; yesterday there were 60 infected people and today there are already 70,” the man told KNG. Of the town’s five wards, Wards 2 and 3 are the worst affected, he said, explaining that 18 people with the virus are government employees.

If the outbreak isn’t brought under control soon, things could turn grim for the town, which has poor health services and is cut off from the rest of the country, said a man working for a civil society organisation.

”We’re worried that the elderly will die from COVID-19 because we don’t have a doctor or oxygen tanks here and it’s difficult to travel,” he told KNG.

According to the locals, the outbreak of the disease began after Burma Army soldiers came to the town to train the Nogmung militia. In addition, the town council organised a football tournament that may have acted as a super spreader.

While many other regions of the country have struggled with outbreaks, only 5 transmissions have been recorded in the remote town until recently.

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