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TIKA delivers aid to Rakhine state to fight COVID-19

TIKA delivers aid to Rakhine state to fight COVID-19

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) delivered hygiene kits to families living in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Thursday to help fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency reached out to 3,000 families living in crowded camps lacking proper hygiene in cooperation with a local COVID-19 intervention committee. Displacement camps in Rakhine state have been housing Rohingya Muslims as well as Kaman Muslims since 2012 following previous waves of ethnic violence.

Myanmar recorded close to 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, including more than 70 deaths, within a week, the country’s Health Ministry said on Thursday. A total of 869 new coronavirus cases were registered on Wednesday, Myanmar’s highest single-day figure since the start of the outbreak, the ministry said in a statement. Over the past week, 3,868 infections and 73 virus-related fatalities were confirmed across the country, it added.

The country is in the grip of a second COVID-19 wave, which originated in the western Rakhine state, since mid-August. Some 7,453 cases and 127 deaths have been recorded in the county since then, an alarming spike compared to just 374 infections and six fatalities in the previous five months starting from March 23. With hundreds of cases emerging daily, the government has reimposed domestic travel curbs throughout the country, with major cities, including the commercial hub of Yangon, placed under strict lockdown.

In early September, authorities instructed domestic airlines to suspend all services and also banned entry visas and international flights until the end of the month. Restrictions have left Yangon’s streets quiet and deserted despite the country’s looming general elections.