Coronavirus – Myanmar, hundreds of thousands don’t know about the pandemic: cut the Internet a year ago


The whole world, for months, has been alarming about the pandemic, amid all closings activities is quarantines. But there is an area where information about COVID-19 have not arrived and where the population ignores the existence of coronavirus. It is a portion of the Myanmar, the state of Rakhine, where more than 800 thousand people live and where there is an armed conflict between the national army (Tatmadaw) is that of Arakan, which asks for more autonomy for i Buddhists, majority in the area. The tells the CNN: there, for a year, the activists of Human Rights Watch is Amnesty International, the state led by Aung San Suu Kyi has decided to cut the Internet, isolating the population also from public health information. Out of nine municipalities, only one has restored the network in May, while all the others remain “offline”. Two infections registered a Maungdaw is Buthidaung, north of the Rakhine, where there are more than 100 thousand i Rohingya – persecuted Muslim minority – living in crowded fields.

“When I ask people in my constituency if they know what it is COVID-19, I have to explain the global pandemic to them from the beginning, “he told CNN Htoot May, MP of the Arakan National League for Democracy. “I have to explain to them what the distancing social and how to practice proper hand hygiene, “he added, stating that the travel restrictions introduced with the pandemic they do not allow him to feel a good portion of the population. Who lives in Rakhinehe says, “he is not afraid of Covid-19 because they don’t know him, and at this stage they are much more worried about fighting“.

A conflict between the national army and the insurgents flared up at the end of 2018 and intensified at the beginning of this year, despite the crisis COVID-19. Violence of which the civilian population bears the greatest weight, in part due to the repeated clashes with heavy weapons in populated areas. THE children in particular, he denounced Save the Children, are victims of extortions, kills and mutilation: between January and March of this year only in the central area of Rakhine 18 children were killed and 71 were injured or maimed, compared to the three children killed and the twelve injured between October and December 2019. Numbers that photograph a dramatic increase in violence in just three months. The area remains largely closed to observers independent as the conflict rages and the health crisis also advances. Officially, in Myanmar only two people died from COVID-19, while the infections are 292.

(image of fighting in Rakhine in May)

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