Myanmar Reports Biggest Daily Rise in Coronavirus Infections​


A street blocked by barricades is seen amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar August 24, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar reported 70 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, the Southeast Asian nation's biggest daily rise, amid a recent resurgence of the virus after weeks without confirmed domestic transmission.

Myanmar's outbreaks has been relatively small compared with other countries in the region after it found its first case in March, with only six deaths and 574 infections reported so far. 

Health authorities say detected among recent infections was a mutation now being reported in Malaysia, which has been found in Europe, North America and parts of Asia, and is thought to be more infectious.

The health ministry did not say where the 70 new cases were found. Most recent infections have been in Sittwe, the capital of conflict-torn Rakhine state, where authorities have imposed a lockdown, stay-at-home order and a curfew.

Sittwe is also home to camps where about 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been confined since an outbreak of violence in 2012. Rohingya are mostly denied citizenship and face strict curbs on freedom of movement and access to healthcare.

Myanmar has curbed internet access in swathes of the region, citing security grounds, but humanitarian workers have urged authorities to restore high-speed internet access to ensure reliable information is available to help tackle rising infections.

In a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Myanmar has since late March closed its borders to all but returning citizens, who are required to undergo quarantine. 

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