Doctors treating COVID-19 patients arrested in Myanmar

 Doctors treating COVID-19 patients arrested in Myanmar
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Doctors treating patients for the coronavirus are being arrested in Myanmar, colleagues and local media say, Reuters reported.

As hospitals are being overrun due to a surge of infections in the country, some doctors have independently taken the initiative to give advice over the phone or make house visits to help those infected with the virus.

However, colleagues are reporting that doctors, who have been active in protests against the government, are being arrested.

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One doctor told Reuters four of his colleagues from the "Medical Family - Mandalay group" have been arrested.

Witnesses had seen Kyaw Kyaw Thet, who was tutoring medical students, and Thet Htay, a senior surgeon, handcuffed and taken away by the military on July 16, the doctor told Reuters.

Another local media report said soldiers lured three doctors to a home pretending to be sick and then arrested them upon arrival. 

Other reports say the military raided a doctor’s office and arrested two doctors, but the military denies these accusations.

The military is "weaponising COVID-19 for its own political gain,” said Yanghee Lee, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, according to Reuters.

It is not clear why the doctors are being arrested, although the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners says hundreds of doctors have been charged for joining anti-military movements.

The organization has counted 73 doctors who have been arrested thus far.

Thousands have been arrested and hundreds have been killed for protesting against the military takeover that occurred in February.