Myanmar’s junta hoards oxygen
The military has ordered that the lifesaving gas be withheld from private clinics and has even stopped charities from giving it away, medical workers say.
The military has also prevented people from buying supplies from oxygen producers, whom it accuses of price-gouging, forcing desperate family members to defy the army in order to save sick relatives. This week, soldiers fired into a crowd of people waiting to buy oxygen tanks, witnesses said.
Doctors accuse the military of trying to ensure that the scarce supply is funneled to military hospitals, which cater to army families. And with the junta having apparently reserved much of the vaccine supply for its loyal ranks, there is little hope that Myanmar’s Covid outbreak, by far its worst yet, will end anytime soon.
Virus: The highly contagious Delta variant is causing cases to explode; the test positivity rate in Myanmar was recently 34 percent.