WHO condoles death of staff in Myanmar

KATHMANDU :The World Health Organization has expressed deep sorrow and grief over the death of its personnel during a security incident in Rakhine district of Myanmar.

Pyae Sone Win Maung succumbed to injuries sustained during the incident in Minbya Township in Rakhine State on Monday evening. He was driving a WHO vehicle from Sittwe to Yangon that was transporting COVID19 surveillance samples in support of the Ministry of Health and Sports.

“This incident once again puts the spotlight on the extreme hardships being faced by our corona warriors—our doctors, nurses, other health workforce, especially while working in security compromised and hard-to-reach areas as they continue to contribute their best to save lives,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director at the World Health Organization South-East Asia.

UN world health body’s South-East Asia chief condemns targeting of health workers involved in Covid-19 response

“As they deliver essential lifesaving services, our health workforce deserves gratitude, respect, appreciation and support for their selfless services,” she said in a statement.

Singh expressed grave concern over the rise in cases of attacks on doctors, on nurses, security personnel and all those who are assisting in testing, tracing contacts and enforcing physical distancing measures to stop COVID19.  “WHO condemns all kinds of physical, verbal or psychological violence against health workforce,” she said.

The regional director called on governments and communities to address the concerns, fears, and misconceptions that may be triggering such incidents. A pandemic like a disease does not distinguish between borders and people, and if the virus is not contained, it will endanger all, she warned.

The WHO appeals to all to facilitate the work of our health workforce who are putting their lives at risk to save our lives, Singh said, adding “we should care for those who care for us.”

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