Myanmar junta locks down half of Yangon Region as Covid-19 spreads

Bangkok, Jul 12 (EFE).- Myanmar’s military junta has imposed a lockdown and social restrictions on almost half the townships of Yangon Region amid concern about the spread of Covid-19.

On Monday, the authorities announced measures to prevent the spread of the virus in 12 townships in the area, in addition to the 10 where they were imposed a day earlier, and which include part of the country’s former capital city, official newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar reported.

Yangon Region, whose homonymous capital is the most populated city in the country, is made up of 45 townships in four districts and has a population of more than 7.3 million people.

The order, which came into force on Monday morning and will remain in place for an undetermined duration, forces the inhabitants of the affected areas to stay home at all times, with some exceptions, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Sports.

The military regime, which seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, had previously ordered the lockdown of the entire city of Mandalay, the country’s second most populated, as well as part of Bago, where another six districts were added on Monday, and other regions amid an uncontrolled spread of Covid-19.

A total of 3,461 new cases and 82 deaths were recorded on Sunday, health authorities reported, taking the number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 192,213, including 3,838 deaths.

Despite the strict lockdowns, protests against the military junta continue to take place throughout the country along with the massive general strike, involving thousands of doctors and health workers.

At least 899 people have been killed as a result of the crackdown by security forces, according to the latest data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group.

The military has justified the coup alleging fraud in elections held in November, in which ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party repeated its resounding victory of 2015, with international observers backing the polls. EFE


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