State Counsellor mentions Yangon can handle Covid-19 only with individuals’ cooperation

16 September 2020

After the resurgence of Covid-19 in Rakhine State, the infection rate is getting higher, reaching over 2,500. Although the condition in Sittway and other parts of Rakhine State are gradually stable, the virus spread in Yangon is getting worse. In her capacity as Chairperson of National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Covid-19, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a televised speech regarding need for strict compliance with directives in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Respective regulations and instructions including stay-at-home order, instruction on restaurants to provide only take-away service, ban on domestic travel, and ban on mass gatherings are issued in Yangon Region, and the State Counsellor mentioned if the residents obeyed these restrictions strictly for two or three weeks, it would be possible to arrive at a situation when this disease would be under control.

The State Counsellor said, “For Yangon, the main thing is to impose travel restrictions and to prevent public gatherings. All need to practice social distancing. The pandemic could be controlled if individuals follow simple guidelines for wearing masks, gloves and staying 6 feet apart in minimum from each other. We also noticed that the rules for preventing public gatherings have impacts on the livelihood of the people and that the government has adopted plans to provide support to the public, and has been implementing them. We will continue to work as needed. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and restrictions, the daily routines have been affected. People must have patience with this situation. The more our people abide by the rules, the faster we could lift the restrictions.”

The infection spread in Yangon as well as in the whole country is faster than the rate of infection spread in March and April earlier on. The fatality rate is also increasing, and even people in the prime of life without underlying diseases died from Covid-19. The disease is spreading in Yangon with a faster pace in comparing with that of other areas. So, it is mentioned that the authorities from other areas will conduct medical tests to those who come from the Yangon Region, and the visitors will have to stay under quarantine.

“Therefore, it is better for all people in Yangon to stay at home. There would be a question regarding shopping for household commodities. It is an unavoidable issue. People need to go to the market. However, they need to strictly follow the rules at the markets. Legal actions will be taken for violation of the rules. The law is not for punishing the citizens but for ensuring the stability and tranquility of the society by containing the wide spread of the virus. So, we say that those who violated the rules and regulations concerned will be charged under the Natural Disaster Management Law this law is more severe than the Communicable Diseases Law. Only severe legal action will be able to control the spread of COVID-19. We always issue instructions to let the general public know what our objective is and what we want them to do. We want the general public to thoroughly observe the instructions,” said the State Counsellor.

The State Counsellor mentioned that just like the matter in Rakhine State, there is no reason that the disease cannot be under control. The cooperation of the public following the rules and regulations is the most important effort that put Yangon forwards better situation.

“There is no reason that the city in the hearts of the citizens cannot handle the issue successfully. I want you to make strenuous efforts. All people need to abide by the rules and regulations, which are not difficult to follow. And it is not difficult for the general public to understand why the rules and regulations were laid down. So, please follow the rules. Don’t get deeply concerned. But you can never be too cautious. So, always be cautious. We will make efforts as much as possible in order to reach the situation in which we can relax restrictions. But in making efforts, the role of the general public is very important, as I have said frequently. Only if the general public cooperates with us, our efforts will be successful,” said the State Counsellor.

Thaw Tar Swe Zin 
Photo Credit - Myanmar State Counsellor Office