Up at 4am to get oxygen for Mandalay

"The situation is terrible. Here, people are facing a lack of oxygen. We are trying to make it available to whom we can reach out," one Sikh volunteer on the ground told Asia Samachar.

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By Asia Samachar| Myanmar  |

Mandalay Sikhs are not sitting back as the nation is buckling under a surge of Covid-19 cases, with hospitals across the country reportedly suffering from a lack of medical equipment, beds, oxygen and doctors.

A band of Sikh youth from the second-largest city in Myanmar are making available oxygen for those stricken by the novel coronavirus.

“The situation is terrible. Here, people are facing a lack of oxygen. We are trying to make it available to whom we can reach out,” one Sikh volunteer on the ground told Asia Samachar.

What does it involve? At 4am, a volunteer drives the ambulance belonging to the Mandalay Sikh Youth to an oxygen factory and will have to wait patiently in the usually long queue.

“It’s very difficult as there are so many people. Some days, oxygen runs out,” he said.

Myanmar was thrown into turmoil following a Feb 1 military coup. The military has launched a bloody crackdown on dissent that has killed more than 900 people according to a local monitoring group. A mass civil disobedience movement has also paralysed the economy, with many banks shuttered and authorities unable to issue bills or collect taxes, reported AFP.

In a report, World Bank has said that the proportion of the country’s population living in poverty was “likely to more than double” by the beginning of 2022 compared with 2019 levels.

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ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond.Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

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