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Myanmar

Myanmar's displaced people fear spread of Covid-19

Catholic groups are ready to respond as the UN warns of a 'precarious' situation in IDP camps

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Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Myanmar's displaced people fear spread of Covid-19

Staff clean Shwedagon Pagoda compound amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus in Yangon on March 26. Myanmar now has five confirmed cases of Covid-19. (Photo: Sai Aung Main/AFP)

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Maria Ja Taung, a Kachin from St. Paul’s camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar's conflict-stricken Kachin state, learned through Facebook about the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus that started in China.

Aware of the worsening situation in Myanmar’s northern neighbor, she rushed to a market to buy face masks to protect her family.

“We feared how we would handle it if the virus reached the people in the camps,” Ja Taung, a Catholic mother, told UCA News.

She said she is concerned about food security after hearing people in Yangon were panic buying at supermarkets over rumors of the virus earlier this month. “If we face a shortage of food, how would people in IDP camps struggle with it?”

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William J. Grimm, MM

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"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."