Vaccine shipments and relief flights stalled

The Ministry of Health and Sports has said political turmoil has delayed a second shipment of COVID-19 vaccine from India. The shipment had been scheduled for February 4, and the Ministry had planned to begin vaccinating the general public on February 5. (An initial round of vaccines has already been administered to health workers.) But the shipment has been pushed back to at least February 11. Myanmar has purchased 30 million vaccine doses from India, with additional, free doses promised from both China and the World Health Organization.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is a crucial step for Myanmar’s ultimate pandemic recovery, and the pandemic recession will almost certainly be compounded from the economic fallout of the coup. Both trade and foreign investment dropped amid the pandemic, and the military takeover stands to make things worse. Several foreign partners have frozen Myanmar operations, and border trade at Muse has stalled, with hundreds of trucks stranded at the crossing. International response to the coup, especially from the West, could mean the economy will never return to pre-pandemic levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.