21 July 2021, Mrauk-U
The Department of Public Health (DPH) will reportedly provide home-based healthcare services in an effort to prevent unnecessary deaths among people who have Covid-19 but remain at home in Arakan State’s Mrauk-U Township.
Many people experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, such as fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath are thought to have opted not to notify the health department, and rather are reportedly being treated at their homes.
U Myo Hlaing, the Mrauk-U Township health officer, said the DPH and the Mrauk-U Garuna Hline Blood Donor Association would work together to provide home-based care to those who suffer from such symptoms and are being treated at home.
“The main reason is that we don’t want patients to lose their lives unnecessarily. If patients contact us saying they don’t want to go to the hospital, we will treat them at their home. If necessary, they will be taken to hospital. Only then will the hospital be less burdened and they can stay at home and receive medical treatment,” he said.
Myanmar’s healthcare system has been stretched to the breaking point as Covid-19 infections rise to unprecedented highs amid a civil disobedience movement (CDM) in protest of the military regime and its February 1 coup. The CMD has included many hospital staff across the country who have refused to work for the junta.
According to epidemiological estimates, up to 20% of people in Mrauk-U Township could be infected with the coronavirus, highlighting the importance of following the rules set out by the health department to prevent the spread of the disease.
Currently, home-based healthcare services will be provided only in Mrauk-U, and if successful, volunteers will travel to other villages to provide home healthcare, said U Khin Kyaw Hlaing, secretary of the blood donors association.
“For now, home healthcare services will be provided only in downtown Mrauk-U, but later to villages. Patients can contact us 24 hours a day,” he said.
The United League of Arakan (ULA), the political wing of the Arakan Army, has announced a two-week stay-at-home period from July 20 to August 4 in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Arakan State.
As of July 20, Mrauk-U Township had recorded 40 coronavirus cases, with two deaths.
Since the third wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in May, Arakan State reported 1,702 cases and 66 deaths as of July 20.