Anonymous*

Dr Htar Htar Lin, the Director of Myanmar Immunisation Program who led Myanmar’s COVID Vaccination Campaign, has been found to be positive for COVID infection whilst in prison.

Dr Lin is well-known for her dedication, enthusiasm and her great effort in leading the COVID Vaccination program in Myanmar. She was one of the members of country’s delegation to India who were successfully able to obtain Covishield (Covid Vaccine) for Myanmar as early as possible.

She and her team worked very hard round the clock in preparation to deliver the COVID vaccination program as soon as the vaccines arrived in Myanmar. Their great effort helped the successful delivery of the country’s Covid vaccination programme in January 2021 as one of the earliest countries in the region.

Since the Military coup on 1st February the country has been in turmoil.

Since the Military coup on 1st February the country has been in turmoil. Ever since Dr Htar Htar Lin joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), she has been one of the high-profile targets of military junta’s arbitrary arrests.

Unfortunately, she was arrested by the Military State Administration Council (SAC) on 10th June 2021 and is being detained, having been accused under penal code “505-A“. One month on it has been heard that Dr Lin is currently being held in Naypyitaw Guard where she tested positive for COVID infection a few days ago.

The details of her condition, what support has been provided to her, whether she will receive proper medical care and when she will be moved to a medical facility to receive necessary treatment are all unknown.

It is our contention that it is everyone’s rights to get medical care when needed. The military SAC are under an obligation to transfer her to a proper medical care facility or hospital, rather than keeping her in the prison without medical facilities or care.

In the midst of the 3rd wave of COVID in Myanmar many health care providers …. have been arrested by the military.

In the midst of the 3rd wave of COVID in Myanmar many health care providers including public health professionals, doctors, nurses, basic health staff etc. have been arrested by the military. The wellbeing of those in detention centres and prisons is of significant concern, given the country is currently riddled with Covid infections and there is a significant mortality rate.

Dr Lin, as well as other well-known doctors such as Professor Maw Maw Oo (Head of Emergency Medicine Department, Yangon General Hospital), Dr Than Min Htut (Medical Superintendent of Pathein General Hospital) and all the other healthcare professionals detained by the military should be released without delay, especially during the Covid pandemic 3rd wave.

Prof Maw Maw Oo is also believed to be suffering with COVID infection and currently being treated at the North Okkalapa General Hospital.

One experienced doctor has stated that “SAC must release all the health care professionals at once, exceptionally, during this COVID third wave. All warrants for doctors and nurses must also be erased as they are the noble professionals at the time of pandemic. Health professionals must be treated well for COVID infection because they sacrificed for the country for many years and also during COVID first and second waves. They should be in their right place, not in prisons or not hiding away from home”.

 

*The author, who is from Myanmar, wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons. This article has been passed to BJGP via trusted sources.

This article has been published to highlight the health and human rights issues that are affecting our colleagues in Myanmar. Please see our other articles on these issues:

 

Featured photo by Saw Wunna on Unsplash