Burma

Myanmar’s Central Bank Says Banking Will Continue Despite Coronavirus

By Nan Lwin 25 March 2020

YANGON — Myanmar’s central bank has reassured citizens that banking services will not stop, including mobile banking and cash machines, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) said more cash than usual was withdrawn from banks on Tuesday, following Myanmar’s first confirmed coronavirus cases.

On Wednesday, the CBM said it had ordered all banks to make contingency plans to ensure the continuous operation of services during any COVID-19 outbreak.

The CBM said it had been supervising banking operations to ensure services operated smoothly in “any situation”.

All banks would continue daily services, including cash withdrawal, during office hours, the CBM said.

The central bank added that limits on mobile banking would be raised to increase public convenience.

Banks had been advised by the CBM to make arrangements to ensure ATMs remain fully operational across the country, the CBM said.

Since the COVID-19 cases were confirmed, panic buying hit supermarkets in Yangon and Mandalay.

On Tuesday, Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi requested citizens not to panic and follow the advice from the health authorities on COVID-19. She said the government was tackling the situation responsibly and with transparency through real-time updates.

As of Wednesday, Myanmar has confirmed three COVID-19 cases. They are all men and Myanmar citizens. A Chin State patient is a 36-year-old, who arrived from the US, and there are two 26-year-olds being quarantined in Yangon, who returned from the UK.

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