The declining kyat and the junta’s import restrictions have made vital medicines more expensive and in some cases hard to buy – with potentially deadly consequences for those suffering from serious health conditions.
The hunting of rare and threatened animals in the remote forests of Kachin State appears to have increased due to the pandemic and the military coup, while demand from China continues despite border closures.
Dengue fever cases have soared this year and doctors and public health experts say weak prevention measures, a lack of medical staff and a focus on COVID-19 have blunted the junta's response to the potentially fatal illness.
Although Omicron is thought to be less severe than Delta, public health experts warn Myanmar could still face a deadly fourth wave due to low vaccination rates, a reliance on less effective Chinese-made vaccines, and a weak public health system.
Six months ago, Myanmar endured a catastrophe as its health system was overwhelmed with seriously ill COVID-19 patients. A Frontier investigation finds that the true death toll may be in the hundreds of thousands, as most were never counted.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.