By Kantarawaddy Times
Many civilians in Hpruso Township displaced by the conflict in Karenni State, are believed to have contracted the Omicron variant. A volunteer nurse who requested anonymity said that although they don’t have test kits, many of the people’s symptoms—sore throats, coughs and body aches—indicate that they’re infected.
”When a person is sick, their family members also get sick and their symptoms correspond,” the nurse told Kantarawaddy Times, explaining that she also believed she contracted the virus when working at the clinic in the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp.
Although they don’t have much medicine, she said they gave antibiotics to some people who developed a bad cough.
The Burma Army (BA) confiscated many medicines before they could be delivered to the camps. And the regime’s offensives and fighting with resistance groups over the past five months have further complicated donor efforts to help in the western township of Hpruso, where more than 4,000 IDPs live.
Omicron has also affected Demawso Township, where there are 68,000 IDPs—the largest concentration in Karenni State.
Most of the volunteers attending to the health needs of the IDPs in Hpruso and Demawso township are doctors and nurses who left their positions to join the Civil Disobedience Movement after the coup happened over a year ago.
According to the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN), nearly 200,000 people have been displaced by the conflict in Karenni and southern Shan States.
This year, the regime has increasingly targeted civilians with airstrikes. The civilian-led conflict data collection group Progressive Karenni People’s Force (PKPF) reported that at least 16 IDPs were killed by junta shelling in an IDP camp in Karenni on 2 March. On 13 February The BA shell a funeral home in Demawso Township.
In mid-January, regime fighter jets attacked Nam Maekhong in western Demawso Township, where many IDPs have taken refuge, killing three teenagers. The next day, the junta flew an airstrike on the Rekeebu IDP camp in Hpruso Township, killing two girls aged 12 and 15 and a 52-year-old man. The civilians in the camp fled Mo So, near which BA had murdered and burned more than 35 people, including several children, on Christmas Eve.