The Myanmar military has been restricting the supply of oxygen, amidst a surge in Covid-19 cases and a rising death toll, according to medical workers.
Sources said that the military regime has prohibited private oxygen plants from refilling oxygen tanks of individuals over claims of hoarding, local The Irrawaddy reported.
The military junta has justified the restrictions to prioritize oxygen supplies to Covid-19 facilities and hospitals, but hospitals are treating fewer patients as many who are sick remain at home amid longer queues at oxygen plants.
“They don’t even refill oxygen for emergency use by ambulances so we have stopped our ambulance service,” a charity worker in Yangon told The Irrawaddy.
Meanwhile, junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said earlier this week that supply is sufficient and urged dissidents to avoid turning the issue into a political one.
“It is important not to seek political advantage out of this. This is a social and health issue, a matter of life and death and not political. It is important not to create trouble,” he said.
The country’s Ministry of Health and Sports have reported 218, 739 total cases of Covid-19 as of Friday with 4,536 deaths, but the figures may be higher due to lack of testing.