Omicron Overtakes Displaced Camps In Demawso Township

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Omicron variant has been spreading in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Demawso Township, Karenni State since mid-February. But unlike previous outbreaks, many of the IDPs are not afraid of getting it because those who have become infected do not show serious symptoms.

“Many IDPs were sick for 3 to 5 days and then recovered,” said Banyar, who is in charge of humanitarian affairs at the Karenni State Consultative Council.

However, a health worker from Clean Yangon who works in the camps in the township worries about it spreading because they don’t have enough medicines. Although they weren’t able to conduct extensive testing, she told Kantarawaddy Times that in one camp as many as 50 people out of 200 residents were infected. But volunteers have not recorded any deaths due to transmission and quarantine anyone who tests positive in their shelter.

Many of the health workers helping them in Demawso Township, where there are 68,000 IDPs—the largest concentration in Karenni State—left their positions to join the Civil Disobedience Movement after the coup happened over a year ago.

In mid-February, the BA had launched a major clearance campaign in neighbouring Pekon Township in Shan State, allowing it to regain control of a key road and advance into Karenni State. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced by the regime’s offensives and others affected by earlier violence have had to find new places to hide from the conflict, with no food and little support from local aid agencies struggling to keep up with growing needs.

Currently, two-thirds of the residents of Karenni State have been displaced by the regime’s offensives and fighting with resistance groups that began in May last year.

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