Former Myanmar Military Leader Has COVID-19

The former military leader of Myanmar, who led the country with an iron fist for almost 20 years, was admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, even as citizens with the virus are left with crowded health facilities in the country amid a new surge in cases.
His admission was reported in the local media recently.
Than Shwe, 88, and his wife, Kyaing Kyaing, have been warded at the 1,000-bed military hospital in Thaik Chaung for several days as a precaution, according to The Irrawaddy news website.
The Associated Press reported that the two have tested positive for COVID-19, but the severity of their illness is unclear.
The Irrawaddy, a local newspaper, reported that the couple were “in good health and believed to have received their vaccines” since the country’s vaccine program prioritizes people 65 and older.
Than Shwe, Myanmar’s military leader between 1992 and 2011, suppressed dissent and maintained the country’s isolation.
Soon after, he began a slow transition toward civilian rule, but that was abruptly ended when his protege, Min Aung Hlaing, seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi.
It comes as the country continues to struggle with a new wave of COVID-19 cases thought to be caused by its Delta variant.
The country’s response to the pandemic has been crippled after many health workers stopped working in protest against the coup. Medical workers have also been detained or prevented from going to hospitals by security forces.
Almost 300 people have died every day in recent days, according to official figures medics believe are greatly underestimated.
COVID-19 has been confirmed in at least 341,000 people, and almost 12,500 people have died.
Reports describe the situation in many hospitals in the country as “like hell”.

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