Covid-19 Central Committee discusses relaxation of restrictions

19 November 2020                                                 

The National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Covid-19 held a meeting on the 17th November, where State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi presented in her capacity as the Chairperson.

The meeting discussed the further containment strategy of Covid-19, and hospitalization of the positive patients. Then, the meeting also reviewed and discussed a relaxation of restrictions imposed during the second wave of Covid-19.

The discussion points include considerations for permitting restaurants and cafes in the “A” list from the townships which are not under stay-at-home order to reopen at the end of November, to allow limited number of devotees to pay homage at sacred pagodas and other religious buildings in States and Regions which are not in stay-at-home list, to allow carol singing during the Christmas season at churches in standard health guidelines and to allow congregations not more than 50 persons at churches on Christmas and International New Year Day. 

Since all townships of Yangon except Cocogyun is under stay-at-home plan, the reopening of restaurants and cafes, pagodas and religious buildings are not likely to be allowed here in Yangon. However, the meeting also discussed relaxing stay-at-home orders in the townships depending on the situation of Covid-19 spread.

U Than Swe, Member of Sule Pagoda’s Board of Trustees, said, “Since Sule pagoda is in the township under stay-at-home order, there is still no plan for reopening until the government issues an order. However, we are doing preparedness to be ready for the reopening in the future. If it is allowed to reopen, we will place basins at four gates and make sure people wash hands, wear masks, their temperature is checked and personal profile is taken. It is great to hear that it is considering the reopening of pagodas and other religious buildings. I assume that the government and the Ministry of Health and Sports are taking necessary measures against Covid-19 that would have lesser impacts on the daily life of the public.”

Furthermore, the discussions also touched on matters relating to resuming automobile registration services, resumption of domestic flights, and allowing visits to the Nay Pyi Taw Council Area and other regions and states; only those who have tested negative at the health department would be permitted to travel and would be allowed to proceed on their journey without the need for further health tests or quarantine if they show their “negative” health certificate at the respective inspection gates.

“It is good to hear that relaxations are under consideration. But on the other hand, in crowded cities like Yangon, people are going outside as nearly much as the period before Covid-19. If the restrictions are to be lifted, it is necessary to take systematic measures and regulations to open the crowded areas such as religious buildings, or automobile registration services. The individuals have to take care of themselves, and follow the restrictions and allowance systematically,” said Daw Myint Myint Soe, Pyithu Hluttaw Representative from Botahtaung Constituency.

It is also said that the detailed and confirmed announcement will be done within few weeks.

Thaw Tar Swe Zin, Soe Min Aung and Bo Bo Thein