UPDATE 1: Eleven Myanmar migrant workers tested positive in four days

Eleven migrant workers who recently returned from Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates tested positive for COVID-19 from May 16 to May 19, the health ministry said.

They were among the tens of thousands of migrant workers returning from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle East, among others, after losing their jobs due to the pandemic.

All 11 patients have been quarantined upon their arrival in facilities as part of the government effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

Concerns that more returning migrant workers would be found infected with COVID-19 have been raised as more workers would be returning in the next few weeks.

On Wednesday, 175 Myanmar citizens are scheduled to fly back from Malaysia, the Myanmar embassy in Kuala Lumpur said in a statement.

Earlier some 484 migrant workers have returned to Myanmar from Malaysia through two mercy flights.

But the government said its quarantine facilities across the country can hold up to 100,000 returning workers.

Migrant workers from Thailand and China continues to trickle in through land borders, but they were immediately whisked to passenger buses that would take them to quarantine facilities.

The latest virus patients include a 50-year-old man from Taungdwingyi township in Magwe Region, who was under quarantine at a facility in Magwe township when he tested positive. He is being treated at Magwe General Hospital.

Another of the new cases is a 25-year-old man from Taunggok township in Rakhine State, who was quarantined at a township facility when he tested positive.

A 20-year-old man from Pantanaw township in Ayeyarwady Region was quarantined at a facility in Pathein township when he tested positive for the disease.

A 34-year-old woman from Taunggyi township in Shan State, and a 60-year-old woman from South Okkalapa in Yangon, who both came from the United Arab Emirates, also tested positive for the disease.

The National Health Laboratory tested 343 other people for the virus, but the results were negative. As of May 18, the government had tested 14,561 people, it added.

So far, Myanmar has 193 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six deaths and 104 recoveries, the ministry said.

Yangon has the most cases, 150, including 71 that were traced to a religious ceremony in Insein township, which has the most cases among the region’s townships with 43.

Only Kayah State has no reported cases yet.

State Counsellor Daw Aung Suu Kyi said the government expects over 100,000 workers to return, mostly from Thailand and Malaysia. She vowed to welcome them all back, whether they went abroad legally or not.

The pandemic has killed over 318,000 people, and there are over 4.8 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

Written by Aung Phay Kyi Soe
Source: Myanmar Times
Published on 19 May 2020
Link: https://www.mmtimes.com/news/nine-most-recent-covid-19-infections-are-returnees-malaysia.html

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