Election 2020

Myanmar Renews Warnings as NLD Election Partygoers Test COVID-19-Positive

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 11 November 2020

YANGON—The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) has repeated its warning that gatherings of more than 29 people are prohibited under existing laws after three people who attended a ruling party election victory celebration tested positive for the coronavirus in Yangon on Monday.

Since polls closed on Sunday, groups of National League for Democracy (NLD) supporters have been gathering by the hundreds and roaming major cities, including Yangon and Mandalay, to celebrate the party’s victory in the general election.

Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit, confirmed via her Facebook page on Tuesday that the three NLD supporters tested positive for the coronavirus after they were sent to Yangon General Hospital for treatment after being injured in a fight.

As of Wednesday morning, Myanmar had reported 63,241 COVID-19 cases including 1,461 fatalities and 47,411 recoveries.

Many people have expressed concern about the gatherings and criticized those celebrating the NLD victory outdoors, pointing out that public gatherings can boost the spread of the coronavirus.

Since Aug. 16, Myanmar has banned gatherings of more than 29 people in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry in its statement on Tuesday urged the public to comply with the COVID-19 guidelines and instructions, as the risk of coronavirus transmission remains high.

It also warned that anyone who failed to follow the COVID-19 instructions would be prosecuted under the country’s existing laws.

On Tuesday, the NLD asked its supporters not to hold gatherings to celebrate the election victory in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid election-related conflict.

Myanmar is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases, with the number of cases having soared since Aug. 16 when the country’s first domestic transmission in a month was detected in the Rakhine State capital, Sittwe.

Since then, Myanmar has reported around 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per day.

Cases have been reported in more than 200 townships across 15 regions and states with Myanmar’s commercial hub, Yangon, being the country’s chief COVID-19 hotspot, reporting 48,745 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday.

Among ASEAN countries, Myanmar is third in terms of COVID-19 cases behind Indonesia and the Philippines.

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