21 May 2020
The Ministry of Health and Sports announced the new COVID-19 cases, which brought up to 199.COVID-19 cases have to be raised as more workers would be returning in the next few weeks. Most of the returnees are from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East after losing their jobs due to the pandemic crisis. A total of 2,072 of Myanmar citizens have arrived back by relief flights. Officials from the Yangon Regions Government and the Ministry of Health and Sports helped them for their 21-day quarantine period at the designated hotels and quarantine centers in line with the regulations and medical checks.
Speaking to MI Radio about their actions on anti-COVID-19 measures in their township U Than Naing Oo, Yangon Region Hluttaw Representative from Pabedan Township, said, "As soon as the announcements of wearing masks were issued by the authorities, people became more cautious about it. As there are a lot of returnees coming back from different countries, the Yangon region government also tries a lot to prevent the spread of COVID -19. The Yangon Region Government carried out anti-COVID-19 measures in Insein, Hlinethaya and Tamwe Townships. It is a really good action to prevent the disease in those crowded townships .And for our township, people tried a lot to stay at home during the semi-lockdown period. Now the restaurants and other markets are open back and people are back to work. I want them not to be careless and I will try to conduct anti-COVID-19 measures in our township.''
All those returnees and the new COVID-19 patients have been kept in quarantine upon their arrival to facilities as part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of the disease. The government also said that the quarantine facilities can hold up to 100,000 returning workers.
Daw Ni Ni, who is the shopper from Pabedan Township, spoke to MI Radio about her feelings regarding those COVID-19 cases, she said "It is really effective on following the announcements and rules from the government. The current situation is related with our health. If one is careless about it, a lot of people will have to suffer. As Yangon has a lot of population, I really want the government to conduct anti COVID -19 measures in all townships, in markets and some crowded places.''
All the businesses and the restaurants have started to operate. The factory workers of Hlinethaya and Shwepyitha industrial zones went back to work this month. Many factories opened early, with the approvals from government inspection teams.
Speaking to MI Radio his arrangement of the tables and chairs in his restaurant in line with social distancing guidance, U Tun Tun, the Restaurant Owner in Pabedan Township, said "I set the tables and chair about 3 feet. I have closed the restaurant since the COVID-19 outbreaks in Yangon. I opened on 17 May as soon as the government announcement came out. There are still only a few customers. In the previous time, we had a lot of customers in the lunch time especially from the civil servant and staffs. But now there are just a few."
Despite the fact that the people are coming back out to work, the risk of infection could still increase among crowds. The government also fines the people failing to wear masks.
So far, Myanmar has 199 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six deaths and 108 recoveries. The National Health Laboratory tested 343 other people for the virus, but the results were negative. As of May 18, the government had tested 14,561 people. The pandemic has killed over 318,000 people, and there are over 4.8 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
Pomo, Pyay Thein and Zwe Mahn
Photo Credit - Ministry of Health and Sports Myanmar