Burma

Myanmar Extends Visa and Flight Ban until May 15 to Tackle COVID-19

By Nan Lwin 27 April 2020

YANGON — Myanmar has extended its suspension of visas and commercial flights until May 15 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The extension came after State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Facebook account said directives announced by the Central Committee for COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Treatment were being extended from April 30 to May 15.

As of Monday morning, the county has reported 146 COVID-19 patients and five deaths. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the extension aimed to protect the population from importing coronavirus.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said all airlines flying to Myanmar had been informed of the extension.

However, relief, cargo, medical evacuation and special flights approved by the DCA would not be affected. Flight crews may be subject to quarantine, added the DCA.

In late March, Myanmar suspended all visas for foreign nationals, except diplomats accredited to Myanmar and United Nations officials based in the country who could prove they are not infected with coronavirus. They will also face quarantine on arrival, the Ministry of Health and Sports said.

The ministry recently announced that quarantine for arrivals was being extended to 28 days, including 21 days in a quarantine center and seven days isolated at home.

Health minister U Myint Htwe said on Sunday that Myanmar could not reduce its coronavirus controls as the numbers being quarantined continued to rise.

“It is unlikely that the spread will increase significantly if controls continue effectively at least until mid-May,” the minister said.

As of Sunday, Myanmar tested 6,538 suspected COVID-19 patients and quarantined 41,572 people.

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