Like much of Southeast Asia, Myanmar weathered the early storms of the COVID-19 pandemic by shutting its borders and imposing strict internal travel restrictions to reduce spread of the disease. However, by the time a third wave of infections hit the country in July 2021 Myanmar was in the midst of new political turmoil and there was no controlling the virus. In February the Myanmar military had taken control of the country in a coup, detaining Myanmar’s elected leaders and placing the entire country under a ‘State of Emergency’. Almost all sectors of the country were devastated by the coup, with Healthcare one of the worst affected. With Myanmar facing this third wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitals overflowing, and martial law in effect, large numbers of patients found themselves being refused access to hospital facilities and forced to go through the illness in their own homes due to a severe lack of emergency medical services. During the height of the surge Yangon’s crematoriums worked around the clock to burn the dead.


Myanmar’s Covid Crisis

Ta Mwe
Sacca Photo

Ta Mwe is a photographer and documentary filmmaker based in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). He is also a member of documentary photography agency, Sacca Photo. Ta was one of the pioneer bloggers in Myanmar and followed his passion to become a full-time photographer. He has worked for local newspapers and European Pressphoto Agency, and some of his photography projects have been featured in International Herald Tribune, The Guardian and Bangkok Post. He also contributed video reporting for BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, DRT, France 24 and Global Witness. He is regularly working on assignments for Al Jazeera. He founded a photo and video production studio named ‘25º STUDIO’ to provide reportage and documentary film production services in 2015. He is interested in social issues, political issues, human rights issues, and is currently working on personal projects.

[ COVID PICTURE STORY ] A multiple-picture story, essay, sequence or series based on daily coverage of general news or breaking news related to COVID-19. Each submission consists of 10 to 20 images. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 3 submissions. All images must be taken in 2020 or 2021.

Judges for Covid Picture Story
Anush Babajanyan
Liang-Pin Tsao
Nyimas Laula
Samuel He
Jean Chung