Over 250 attacks on health workers by the military junta reported in Myanmar

Bangkok, Aug 11 (EFE).- The military junta in Myanmar has carried out more than 250 attacks and threats against healthcare personnel opposed to them since the Feb.1 coup, nonprofits reported.

At least 25 health workers have died, 37 have been wounded and 190 others arrested by the security forces in the first six months of the military coup, according to an analysis by Insecurity Insight, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), and Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.

Soldiers and police have also occupied 55 hospitals and raided another 86 health centers across the country, the statement said.

Doctors and nurses “have been targeted for providing medical care to injured civilians,” while other professionals have been attacked for their ties to the Civil Disobedience Movement, which has conducted strikes and demonstrations against the junta.

Moreover, the report comes at a time when the country is experiencing an increase in cases of the coronavirus, caused by the delta variant, whereas the political and social crisis due to the coup has aggravated the health crisis.

“Violence against health care is increasingly derailing Myanmar’s Covid-19 response and vaccine roll-out,” the statement underlined.

According to official data, 4,434 coronavirus cases and 220 deaths were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total to 337,561 infections and 12,234 deaths since the start of the pandemic last year.

However, the doctors and health associations in Myanmar claim that the Covid-19 data published by the military government do not reflect actual situation in the country due to its limited testing capacity of between 12,000 and 15,000 tests a day.

International nonprofits claim that the military junta has been using the pandemic as a weapon to crackdown on dissent by stopping the direct sale of medical oxygen and blocking supply, something the regime denies.

According to the PHR report, in July the authorities confiscated health equipment and oxygen in several parts of Yangon, the country’s former capital and most populous city, and other important regions of the country that witnessed a strong opposition to the military, such as Mandalay, Chin, and Kayin.

“Myanmar’s surging Covid-19 crisis increasingly threatens other countries in the region and the global community,” said Christina Wille, director of Insecurity Insight.

In May, the United Nations reported denounced the violence perpetrated against health workers by the Myanmar authorities and demanded the immediate release of detained professionals.

Since the coup, the military junta has brutally cracked down on protests in which at least 965 people have died and over 7,130 others been arbitrarily arrested, according to the latest data from the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE


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