Staff at 70 hospitals and medical departments in 30 towns across Myanmar have gone on strike to protest against the coup that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In a statement, the newly formed Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement said the army had put its own interests above a vulnerable population during the coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 3,100 people.
“We refuse to obey any order from the illegitimate military regime who demonstrated they do not have any regards for our poor patients.”
“I want the soldiers to go back to their dorms and that’s why we doctors are not going to hospitals,” one 29-year-old medic in Yangon told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
“I don’t have a time frame for how long I will keep on this strike. It depends on the situation.”
Student and youth groups have also joined the civil disobedience campaign.
Hundreds of members of parliament remain confined inside their government housing in the country’s capital, in spite of a plea for the military to honour the results of last November’s election and release them.
The Myanmar army said it had acted in response to “election fraud”. They handed power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and say they will impose a state of emergency for one year.
Joe Biden has led international condemnation of the coup, calling it a “direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law”.
The US president has threatened to impose fresh sanctions – after they were removed during the past decade because of progress that had been made towards democracy.
Britain has summoned Myanmar’s ambassador in London after Boris Johnson also condemned the coup.
The prime minister said: “The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) fears the unrest will worsen the plight of some 600,000 Rohingya Muslims still in the country.