Yangon becomes deserted as number of Covid-19 cases surges

17 September 2020

The Ministry of Health and Sports on 9 September announced it has extended stay-at-home instructions to 21 more townships in Yangon with the purpose of effectively controlling the infection of virus as the confirmed cases are rising in Yangon. The ministry also announced on September 1 that seven township in the commercial city has to follow the stay-at-home order. Therefore, the townships that the stay-at-home has been imposed bring the total number to 28.

The regional government issued announcements that the residents in 44 townships in Yangon Region except Kokokyun must stay at home and not travel as the stay-at-home order has been imposed.

During this COVID prevention, control and treatment period, the residents must follow the orders and directives by staying at home and those who are going out for apparent reasons and the employees who are going to respective worksites are seen moving in the commercial city.

U Nyi Nyi, Region Hluttaw Representative, Dagon Myothit (South) Township, Constituency-1, said, “The COVID committee in our township is working on a campaign daily in the roads and streets to educate the public to wear masks if they go out in public. During this stay-at-home period, the COVID committee of the township is discussing the administration of the wards with the parliament representatives and the NGOs. The administrators of the wards are now warning the families to reduce the people who go out and to follow the rules. In these days, there are fewer people on the roads and those who go out are wearing masks. The participation of the public is very important and it becomes stronger. Thus, this COVID will be washed off faster.”

The Ministry of Health and Sports on 14 September announced that there are 1,541 Covid-19 confirmed cases who are taking medical treatment at the Hospital in Yangon Region.

Apart from this, the respective General Administration Offices already announced the orders that all the restaurants and café have to provide only take-away service starting from 8th September.

U Aung, a taxi driver from Tamwe Township said, “According to the updated news, the death toll is increasing and the infection rate is also rising rapidly, so there are no people on the roads and there is no travel. Therefore, we, taxi driver have no customer on the roads. Some of days I don’t earn enough money for our family expenses. Due to the consequences of rising death toll, more infectious cases, people are panic and afraid to go outside. Sometimes they go outside only when they have important matters. Therefore, we have very rare chances to get customers.”

The local authorities had instructed all of the shops including pharmacy stores, restaurants and groceries around the crowded places such as Yuzana Plaza, Mingala Market, Shwe Pyae Sone Market to be closed starting from 12th of September.

Ko Than Soe, Trishaw Man from Dagon Myothit (North) Township, said, “Our family is facing lots of difficulties in our living. As people are staying at home, we have got no passengers these days. Actually, we are in big troubles while all of the businesses have been stopped and people are staying at home. We depend on the trishaw so this time. Some people dare not go out. We are not okay with our living because of the stay-at-home order and so we have to stay at home and earn nothing. In the past, our business went well.”

The people who are eligible to stay at home are to stay at home only (except who are working in governmental offices, companies, industries and factories), only one person to go out for necessary buying, only two people to go to the clinic if necessary, to wear masks whenever going out, only authorized vehicles to pass through the wards for transporting the workers, only one person apart from the driver when going to the market, only three people including car driver to go to hospital or clinic if necessary.

There are 3,299 confirmed cases with 32 deaths in Myanmar until 8 a.m. on the 15th of September.

Ye Naing (Laukkai), Soe Min Aung and Naung Lay