Doctors in Burma stopped working on Wednesday to protest what they called an illegal coup and the subsequent illegitimate government, according to a report.
Reuters reported that the work stoppage occurred in 70 hospitals in the country of 54 million. These doctors said in a statement that military leaders put their own interest above that of the public and have no regard “for our poor patients.”
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Burma’s new leader, said he plans to investigate alleged voter fraud in November’s election in the country. The military had said one of its reasons for ousting the elected civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi was because it failed to properly investigate its allegations of alleged widespread electoral irregularities.
Western countries have called on the Burmese military to stand down, and have threatened sanctions. Some experts on the region said that threatening sanctions may not be an effective strategy because Burma does so little business with countries like the U.S.
Suu Kyi’s party captured 396 out of 476 seats in Parliament last November. The main opposition party, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, won only 33 seats.
The Reuters report did not indicate how many doctors were joining the work stoppage. A 29-year-old doctor told the news agency, “I want the soldiers to go back to their dorms and that’s why we doctors are not going to hospitals. I don’t have a time frame for how long I will keep on this strike. It depends on the situation.”
Burma has had 140,000 confirmed cases and 3,138 deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report