Stranded Myanmar students from Wuhan arrives in Mandalay

UPDATE 2: Two Myanmar students in Wuhan are sick and undergoing medical treatment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday, as 59 other students from the beleaguered Chinese city arrived in Mandalay.

The two students “had to be taken for proper medical treatment because of high body temperature”, the ministry said in a statement,

Before dawn Sunday, 59 Myanmar students stranded in Wuhan arrived in Mandalay on Sunday aboard a charter flight.

Aside from the two sick students, two students failed to join in the chartered flight as one of them is living outside Wuhan and the other has documentation problem.

The 59 students were quarantined in Kandaw Nadi Hospital and will be monitored for two weeks before they are allowed to go home, if they do not show any symptoms of the disease, said Dr Ye Lwin, head of the regional 2019 Novel Coronavirus Surveillance and Response Team.

Only one doctor has been assigned to monitor all the students as part of the government’s precautionary measures against the deadly virus.

The area surrounding the hospital has been designated as restricted and secured with guards who were instructed to use slingshots and rubber bullets against anyone who would try to enter its premises.

China’s death toll from a new virus increased to 304 on Sunday amid warnings from the World Health Organization that other countries need to prepare in the event the disease spreads among their populations as more nations report local infections.

Meanwhile, six officials in the city of Huanggang, neighboring the epicenter of Wuhan in Hubei province, have been fired over “poor performance” in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

It cited the mayor as saying the city’s “capabilities to treat the patients remained inadequate and there is a severe shortage in medical supplies such as protective suits and medical masks.”

Figures from China’s National Health Commission showed an increase of 45 in the death toll and 2,590 in the number of cases for a total of 14,380, well above the number of those infected in the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which broke out in southern China before spreading worldwide.

Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization representative in Beijing, urged governments to be prepared for the possibility of local outbreaks.

“Countries need to get ready for possible importation in order to identify cases as early as possible and in order to be ready for a domestic outbreak control, if that happens,” Galea told The Associated Press.

Although scientists expect to see limited transmission of the virus between people with family or other close contact, they are concerned about cases of infection spreading to people who might have less exposure.

Myanmar has been on the highest alert against the virus, ramping up surveillance measures in airports, seaports and land border crossings in a bid to prevent the entry of the virus.

On Friday, Myanmar health authorities quarantined a Chinese national suspected of suffering from coronavirus infection in the first case reported in the country.

The 60-year-old victim arrived at the Yangon International Airport Friday morning onboard a China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou. The airline pilot reported to airport authorities the man was suffering from a fever.

Two Myanmar nationals who were in the same flight have been quarantined in a local hospital in Yangon, while the rest of the 79 passengers and seven crewmembers returned to China hours, later.

The victim is confined at the Waibargi Hospital in Yangon, which specializes in infectious diseases, for treatment.

An official of the hospital said the suspected coronavirus victim has been held in an isolation room while undergoing treatment.

“We give him proper treatment in the Isolation Ward with well-trained medical team,” Dr Khin Khin Gyi, deputy director of Contagious Disease Prevention and Eradication under the Department of Public Health, told The Myanmar Times.

Myanmar does not have the capacity to test for the virus and samples from the patient have been sent to Thailand. The results are expected within one week. – With reports from the Associated Press

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Source : Myanmar Times

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