COVID-19 Cases Surge in Southeast Asian Countries, as Officials Call for Renewed Attention to Prevention

With COVID-19 infections and deaths rising in Myanmar and its neighbors, deposed national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called on citizens in the military-ruled country to strictly observe all precautions aimed at preventing the pandemic’s spread, her lawyers said on Monday.

Following a court hearing in the capital Naypyidaw directed by the military junta that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi and her democratically elected civilian government on Feb. 1, defense attorney Min Min Soe said the 76-year-old leader had asked him to relay a message to the people of Myanmar to take good care of themselves amid the rising numbers of infections and deaths in the pandemic.

“She is very deeply concerned for the people,” Min Min Soe said, adding that Aung San Suu Kyi was asking many questions in order to stay informed on the growing spread of COVID-19 across the country and in the capital, where she now faces trial on seven separate charges brought by Myanmar’s new military rulers.

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Reported by RFA’s Myanmar, Lao, Vietnamese, and Khmer Services. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane, Max Avary, Viet Ha, and Sok Ry Sum. Written in English by Richard Finney.