The Civil Disobedience Movement has shuttered hospitals and crippled the COVID-19 response, but striking medics say military rule is far worse for the nation’s health.
Employees at the Lashio General Hospital in northern Shan State received their first COVID-19 jab on January 28 – just three days before the military seized power from the democratically-elected government.
The staffers were some of the more than 103,000 government health workers throughout the country who at the end of January received their first of two doses of Covishield, the Serum Institute of India-made vaccine based on the Oxford-AstraZeneca one. The second dose – which must be taken between four and 12 weeks after the first to be effective, according to the SII – was due 28 days later, on February 25.
But on that date, almost none of the staff showed up. LGH staff began joining the Civil Disobedience Movement on February 3; now, 44 of its 46 assistant physicians and 132 of its more than 200 nurses are on board, forcing the facility to close. These frontline workers are still refusing their second jab.
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