Myanmar should brace itself for a third wave of COVID-19 infections in light of the widespread protests currently taking place across the country, Dr Than Naing Soe, spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Sports’ Health and Awareness Division, warned.
“We cannot overlook COVID-19 and must be prepared for a third wave,” he added.
He urged the public to take COVID-19 precautions to help slow the spread of the virus as large crowds gather to demonstrate against the military.
Dr Than Naing Soe added that it will be difficult to determine the number of new cases since the start of the national Civil Disobedience Movement on February 6.
“Regardless of what you do, it is critical to wear a mask outside, wash your hands before putting on your mask, properly wear your mask, and maintain good hygiene,” he said.
“If you have difficulty washing your hands, it may be a good idea to keep hand sanitisers on hand at all times.”
He cautioned that the public can easily contract the virus without showing symptoms, putting the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions at risk.
“Everyone should take every precaution possible,” he said.
The reminder to follow COVID-19 precautions comes amid a health workers’ strike that began on February 3 in protest of the military.
The number of tests conducted since then has decreased significantly, with the Ministry of Health and Sports reporting only 21 new cases as of 8 p.m. on February 12.
Myanmar has reported a total of 141,543 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 129,287 recoveries, and 3,188 deaths.