Photo credit: @alice_young98|Twitter
Yangon/New York: The United Nations team on ground in Myanmar has warned that the recent political upheaval following the coup will harm the COVID-19 vaccination effort that was underway in the country. The team said that Myanmar had developed a robust, meticulous national deployment and vaccination plan and had already vaccinated 105,000 health workers as of 31 January, 2021.
Myanmar has cluster of Corona cases and has so far reported 141,783 total Covid cases and 3,197 fatalities.
Reiterating the UN team’s concern, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General told journalists in New York last night (IST) that “the UN team in Myanmar says it is gravely concerned that the recent events will jeopardize the COVID-19 vaccination effort…”.
Already the world body is concerned about the impact that the military takeover has had on the freedoms of assembly and speech, among others. Now there are also reports that a ship carrying Rohingya refugees is in distress in the Andaman Sea. “Our colleagues at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today called on countries in the region to meet their international obligations and to ensure that all people onboard are immediately rescued and safely disembarked. The vessel has been at sea for more than 10 days and there has reportedly been loss of life on board,” Dujarric said.
IOM has stressed that saving lives must be a top priority and that a lasting regional solution to a regional problem must be found.
Also on Myanmar, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) team in the country said on February 24, 2021 that it was alarmed by the continued use of excessive force against children by security forces during ongoing demonstrations. It pointed out that earlier this week, on 22 February, a five-year-old child was seriously wounded in Kachin State when he was reportedly shot by a member of security forces using a slingshot .
“As we told you earlier this week, a child was killed by security forces in Mandalay over the weekend. UNICEF is once again calling on security forces to refrain from violence, to exercise maximum restraint and for differences to be resolved through constructive and peaceful means, prioritising the protection and safety of children and young people,” Dujarric said.
– global bihari bureau