Isolated Myanmar calls for international help

Myanmar's military called for international help on Wednesday as the country battles a surging wave of covid infections.

It marks a shift in tone for the military, left largely isolated by the rest of the globe when they seized power in a coup earlier this year.

The junta leader said vaccinations needed to be increased, and called for cooperation with fellow ASEAN and quote "friendly countries."

Nations including the U.S and Britain have slapped sanctions on the military rulers over the coup and repression of pro-democracy protesters.

Efforts to contain the virus have been hampered by floods. In Karen State bordering Thailand, photos reveal scenes of horror as healthcare workers wade through floodwaters carrying patients on beds, weak and desperate for oxygen or worried that staying at home could spread to other family members.

The fast-growing outbreak amid ongoing chaos in the wake of the coup has exacerbated efforts by medics and funeral services working around the clock.

The military has been wary of outside help in past disasters, forcing Myanmar's people to help each other, though a previous administration did allow in aid via ASEAN after a devastating cyclone in 2008.

Only three percent of Myanmar's population are vaccinated, according to a Reuters tracker. 40,000 inmates in densely packed prisons are a major concern.

The official infection number since June is nearly 5,000, but medics and funeral services say the actual infection and death toll is much higher.

Myanmar's military has also arrested several doctors treating COVID-19 patients independently.

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