Myanmar sees gradual decline in COVID-19 positivity rate

YANGON (XINHUA) – Myanmar has seen a gradual decline in daily testing positivity rate of COVID-19 so far, a health expert told Xinhua yesterday.

“The per cent positive of the tests has declined to around eight per cent starting the first week of this month when it was around 19 to 21 per cent in previous two months,” said Public Health Expert and Senior Advisor of the Health and Sports Ministry Professor Soe Lwin Nyein.

He said the positivity rate is still high and the transmission rate in the community is considered high unless it remains below five per cent.

Public health authorities have been trying to cut the chain of community transmissions by promoting non-pharmaceutical interventions while the treatment measures are also being strictly taken to cure the patients.

“As long as people actively follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions, the testing positivity rate will decline to less than five per cent,” the expert said. “If the positivity remains below five per cent for at least two weeks, it means the transmission is under control and the government may ease some restrictions in the country,” he added.

A health worker takes a swab sample in Yangon, Myanmar. PHOTO: XINHUA

The number of COVID-19 cases resurged in Myanmar since August 16 amid the second wave of outbreak, when the densely populated Yangon region has witnessed rocketting numbers of infection cases.

According to the ministry’s figures, the country saw 2.2 per cent of fatality on Wednesday while it was 2.3 per cent on Tuesday.

Myanmar confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19 on March 23. A total of 552,448 samples have been tested for the infectious disease as of Wednesday.

So far, 39,696 positive cases and 972 deaths have been reported while 18,865 recovered patients discharged from hospitals, according to the ministry’s latest figures.