Myanmar Receives $10m in Public COVID-19 Vaccine Donations

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 18 January 2021

Yangon – Myanmar’s government has received about US$10.2 million (13 billion kyats) in public donations to buy COVID-19 vaccinations within a week of the government’s request.

The government initially earmarked $251 million (335 billion kyats) on Jan. 5 and also sought help from the public.

The government’s COVID-19 vaccine fund has since received donations from individuals, businesses and religious organizations.

The Islamic Religious Affairs Council in Myanmar said on Sunday that it donated more than 1 billion kyats to the fund and is still receiving donations from the Muslim community in Myanmar.

The Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, which was established by State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is also accepting public donations.

By Jan. 15, the foundation had transferred more than 530 million kyats to the government.

The CB Bank also donated 2 billion kyats.

The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry is collecting donations from its members and has earmarked 150 million kyats itself.

U Chit Khine, chairman of one of Myanmar’s biggest conglomerates, the Eden Group, donated $1.5 million (2 billion kyats). U Zaw Zaw, chairman of the Ayeyarwady Foundation, who has already contributed more than $11 million (14.7 billion kyats) to government COVID-19 efforts, donated another 2 billion kyats for vaccines.

The KBZ bank, which has already contributed more than $10.5 million (14 billion kyats) to COVID-19 efforts, donated another 3 billion kyats for vaccines.

Myanmar’s military has reportedly donated 1 billion kyats.

Myanmar has ordered 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, which is producing Covishield, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The vaccines are due to arrive in Myanmar in February.

Myanmar has initially paid $75 million (100 billion kyats), half the amount for the vaccine order. The total cost could reach $550 million (734 billion kyats) for the whole adult population, with two doses needed per person with each Covishield dose costing about $5 (6,700 kyats).

Myanmar forecast that 40 percent of its 54.4 million inhabitants will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021. The remaining adults are expected to be vaccinated during the 2022-23 financial year.

Myanmar is also trying to buy COVID-19 vaccines from China, Russia, the UK and USA through diplomatic channels.

Since Dec. 19, Myanmar has seen a decline in daily cases of COVID-19. Fewer than 1,000 cases are now being reported per day, down from a peak of more than 1,400 daily cases.

On Sunday, Myanmar reported 134,318 cases, including 2,955 fatalities and 117,663 recoveries.

In Asean, Myanmar is fourth in terms of COVID-19 cases, behind Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. ​

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