At least 230,000 people displaced since the coup as COVID-19 cases reach a record high
Some 177,000 displaced people come from Karen State, plus 20,000 in a hundred reception centres in Chin State. The latest casualties include a pregnant woman, two infants and three elderly people who died from lack of medicine or during their flight from fighting. Yesterday 787 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the total to 151,000 cases with 3,300 deaths.
Yangon (AsiaNews) – Street fighting and protests against the military junta have displaced at least 230,000 people in Myanmar, the United Nations reported yesterday.
This comes amid growing concern about the violence by Myanmar’s military against minorities, civilian deaths, the widening conflict, and the rise in COVID-19 cases, which have reached a record number in recent days.
The Myanmar Armed Forces seized power in February by ousting the elected government and arresting democratic leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi,
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that ongoing relief operations were hindered by armed clashes, violence and insecurity in the country.
In recent months, the military has suppressed popular protests with killings and targeted attacks, whilst fighting with the armed forces of some ethnic minorities has intensified.
At least 177,000 have been displaced in the Karen State, on the border with Thailand, 103,000 in the last month alone.
More than 20,000 have sought shelter in a hundred reception centres in Chin State, on the border with India, where fighting is taking place between the Myanmar military and the People's Defence Forces.
Local sources say that several thousand people have fled to Kachin and Shan States because of the heavy crackdown by the military and the loss of civilian lives.
According to the Association for Political Prisoners Burma (AAPP), at least 877 people have been killed and more than 6,000 arrested since the coup triggered street protests suppressed in blood.
The latest casualties include six civilians in Chin State – a pregnant woman, two infants and three elderly people – who died escaping the violence and from a lack of medical care.
“At least six people have died in the jungle due to a lack of medicine,” said a refugee from Mindat township, on condition of anonymity. “The babies were just a few days old. There are old people [who died]. Some fell from the narrow mountain roads while escaping the fighting.”
After avoiding the worse of the pandemic, the Asian country is now reporting a surge in infections.
At 787, yesterday saw the highest number of cases in a 24-hour period since the global health emergency began.
The overall number is just shy of 151,000 cases with about 3,300 deaths, but the actual figure could be much higher, this according to experts,