• Friday, Jun 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:25 pm

Myanmar urged to restore internet in Rakhine to help contain virus

  • Published at 06:30 pm August 25th, 2020
Covid-19 situation in Rakhine
File photo: A volunteer checks the temperature of a man at the entrance of Sittwe Hospital, amid the outbreak of the Covid-19, in Sittwe, Rakhine State,on August 24, 2020 Reuters

Most recent infections have been in the state capital of Sittwe, where officials have imposed a stay-at-home order and a curfew

Humanitarian workers battling the novel coronavirus in Myanmar's Rakhine State have urged authorities to restore high-speed internet access to help tackle rising infections in an area where tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

The region has seen the fastest spread of the coronavirus in Myanmar in recent months with more than 80 confirmed cases out of the country's total of 474.

Citing security, Myanmar has curbed internet access in large swathes of the area, where many people live in camps due to fighting between the army and ethnic minority insurgents.

Aid workers from three groups said the government should restore 4G internet access to help inform people about the virus.

"If they do not do it at this time, when information is essential, it will be recorded in history as a crime," said Zaw Zaw Tun, the secretary of one of the aid groups, the Rakhine Ethnic Congress.

The high-speed internet blackout, imposed in June last year, is due to be lifted this month and while the internet is working in some areas, in others there is only slower 2G service.

A government spokesman did not answer telephone calls seeking comment.

Another humanitarian worker, Aung Than Tun, said the limited access was making it easier for misinformation and rumors about the coronavirus to spread.

Most recent infections have been in the state capital of Sittwe, where officials have imposed a stay-at-home order and a curfew.

Sittwe is also home to camps where about 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been confined since an outbreak of violence in 2012. Rohingya are mostly denied citizenship and face strict curbs on freedom of movement and access to healthcare.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said people of all faiths and ethnicities would be treated equally.

Three more coronavirus cases were reported on the weekend in Mrauk U town in Rakhine where internet access is limited to 2G.

Local legislator Tun Thar Sein said the service was too patchy to ensure that people got health and news updates on the outbreak.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail