The mother of Burma’s COVID-19 patient ‘zero’ tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) confirmed the 58-year-old woman from Keptel, Tedim township, located in Chin State, had the coronavirus yesterday (April 10).
It’s unclear how the mother and son contracted it. In early March, after returning from the US, the son became sick and tested positive for the virus.
Authorities immediately locked down the entire village to prevent an outbreak. The mother, her son’s wife and the rest of their family were placed under home quarantine for two-weeks.
Pau Lum Ming Thang, the Chin State Health and Social Affairs minister, told Khonumthung News, the mother is in stable condition in the Tedim hospital, located about two hours by car from Keptel.
“After her son tested positive for COVID-19 medical staff didn’t immediately test her for the virus,” he said, explaining that later they discovered she had it after testing her and 13 others who had contact with patient ‘zero’, including his wife. Everyone else tested negative.
Although there are only 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country some health experts and Burma observers believe the numbers could be much higher, as many don’t have access to healthcare or to testing facilities. The government received donated test kits but didn’t use many until many migrant workers began returning home after losing their jobs when Thailand locked the country to curb its outbreak.
There are 1,699,490 confirmed cases in 185 countries since COVID-19 was officially announced by the Chinese government at the end of 2019, according to a real-time map by Johns Hopkins University. The virus killed 102,800 and 377,040 have recovered.