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Burmese troops arrest 18 medics for treating members of anti-junta groups

Troops made arrests in a raid on Monday at a church in Loikaw, eastern Kayah state, where they discovered 48 patients receiving treatment, including seven suffering from Covid-19.

“We learned that unofficial medical treatment was being provided to the wounded and patients of terrorist organizations,” said the Global New Light of Myanmar, spokesperson for the junta.

The report did not name the organizations. He said the 18 arrested doctors would be treated according to the law.

Myanmar’s healthcare system has been on the verge of collapse since the military overthrew an elected government in the February 1 coup.

Many medical workers joined a civil disobedience movement and refused to work in military hospitals to protest against the junta regime.

Many health facilities and workers have been targeted by security forces, according to human rights groups.

The army called on medics to return to work.

Some of the four doctors, four nurses and ten orderlies arrested at the church had previously been charged with incitement to refuse to work, according to the report.

Nearly 1,300 civilians have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested since the coup, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP), which followed post-coup events in Myanmar.

The military has rejected the AAPP data, which has been cited by the United Nations, and accuses it of bias. A junta spokesman said last week that 200 soldiers were killed during the conflict.

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