Myanmar warns of disease risk in cyclone-hit regions | world | Hindustan Times
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Myanmar warns of disease risk in cyclone-hit regions

world Updated: May 06, 2008 15:07 IST

Myanmar's state media on Tuesday urged people to take precautions against disease in regions hit by Tropical Cyclone Nargis, which has left more than 10,000 dead.

The cyclone tore through southwestern Myanmar at the weekend, devastating the Irrawaddy Delta region and hammering the nation's main city of Yangon.

Many of the city's six million people were spending a fourth day today without water or electricity, as trash and debris piled on the sidewalks.

State radio urged people to safeguard their health and "to drink boiled water and keep pests out of food."

"Eat fresh fruits, use clean toilets, and systematically throw out the garbage," the radio report said, also urging the public to "be aware of mosquitos and the danger of snakes."

State radio urged people to immediately go to a clinic to treat health problems.

But many of the 24 million people living in the regions affected by the storm have little means of taking any precautions for their health.

Television images showed huge swathes of the populous delta region remained flooded, with roads impassable and dozens of boats destroyed, crippling the transport network.

The country's most important hospital, Yangon General Hospital, was partially destroyed during the storm, with the cancer and cardiac units wiped out, according to state media.

Flooded roads and downed trees have made it difficult to transport food and supplies, sending prices up threefold since the weekend.

Even before the cyclone, Myanmar's health system was in shambles after decades of mismanagement by the military government.