KNPP Accepts Tatmadaw Donation of COVID-19 Protective Equipment

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The Burma Army handed over protective equipment to the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in the Karenni State capital of Loikaw on May 22.

The donated materials included 1,000 surgical masks, 500 N-95 masks, 250 face shields, five 50-kilogram bags of bleach powder, 100 personal protective suits, 1,000 pairs of examination globes, and 150 bottles each of hand soap and hand sanitizer.

“If the rains suddenly fall, it will be difficult to move around. So we transferred things in this hall. This is one of our activities for COVID-19 prevention,” Loikaw Regional Operation Command (ROC) commander Col Tun Naing Oo said at the event where the supplies were donated. It was held at the Loikaw ROC headquarters.

The KNPP said that they would not use the materials donated by the Tatmadaw themselves, but would distribute them among locals.Present at the distribution event from were ROC commander Col Tun Naing Oo; Col Tin Tun Aung, commander of Artillery Battalion 356; Col Myint Wai, the Karenni State border affairs minister; and five KNPP officials including general secretary Shwe Myo Thant.Shwe Myo Thant said that the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center had recently asked the KNPP to participate in COVID-19 prevention activities.

“We have our medic team. We already formed a committee to work for COVID-19 prevention matters. Our health department is working for COVID-19 prevention in their respective townships. We replied to them that we would fully participate in COVID-19 prevention,” he told Kantarawaddy Times.

The KNPP thanked the military for the donation in an official letter; no political issues were reportedly discussed in the meeting with the Tatmadaw officials.

The KNPP has closed down border crossings in its territory since March 17 and extended the shutdown through the end of this month.Karenni State remains the only state in Burma in which there have been no confirmed infections of COVID-19.

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