More than 1,800 Yangon Factories to Reopen After Passing Myanmar’s COVID-19 Tests
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 29 April 2020
Yangon – More than 1,800 factories in Yangon have been permitted to resume their operations after complying with official COVID-19 preventative measures, said Yangon Region’s Ministry for Immigration and Human Resources.
On April 19, the Ministry of Labor ordered that factories could only reopen after introducing COVID-19 preventative measures set by the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Factories had already stopped operations from April 12-19 for the Thingyan holiday.
Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi, the Yangon regional minister for immigration and human resources, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that 1,974 factories had been inspected.
She said 427 factories were permitted to resume operations and 1,432 can reopen while making some minor COVID-19 measures while they are operating.
The minister added that 115 factories failed to meet the guidelines.
Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi added that inspections were continuing.
Myanmar has more than 7,000 factories with 6,632 and 680,000 workers in Yangon, according to the Ministry of Labor.
U Myo Aung, permanent secretary at the ministry, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that more than 2,000 factories have been inspected across the country since April 20.
Around 100 ministry staff were cooperating with the health ministry to inspect COVID-19 measures, he added.
Many factories are yet to set up COVID-19 guidelines, U Myo Aung said.
An anonymous management committee member at Yangon’s Shwe Lin Ban industrial zone told The Irrawaddy that the government should accept online applications from factory owners to speed up the inspection process.
Factories with COVD-19 measures that are ready to reopen must submit application letters for inspections to the Yangon Labor Administration Department and are forced to wait for inspections, he said.
He claimed factory owners have to go to the department with certificates before work can restart.
All factories are instructed by the health ministry to ensure workers can wash their hands and observe social distancing.
Factories must have temperature checks and send home any worker with a fever.
Pamphlets and intercom announcements must be used to communicate with staff and meetings in factories have been prohibited.
Employees were told to report to health clinics with any COVID-19 symptoms, including coughing, difficulty breathing, fever and exhaustion.
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