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Myanmar Crisis

Myanmar's lights go out as bill boycott fuels cash crunch

State hospitals forced to use costly generators as COVID-19 crisis deepens

The price of candles in Myanmar is going up: Power supplies are on the verge of collapse because most Burmese have refused to pay their electricity bills since the military's seizure of power in February.   © Reuters

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Myanmar's electricity supplies have been threatened by collapsing revenues since the Feb. 1 military takeover, with urban areas suffering frequent power failures and prolonged blackouts amid a widespread boycott of electricity bill payments.

Unreliable power supplies are adding severe pressure to the threadbare public health care system as a third wave of COVID-19 rampages. The country's confirmed cases have surged to record levels. Official figures show an average of 6,000 new cases daily for a total of 250,000 to date with 6,000 deaths recorded, mostly since mid-June. Because testing has been so limited, medical experts believe the true figures are much higher.

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