Myanmar’s Daily COVID-19 Infections Fall Below 1,000

By Zue Zue 29 December 2020

Yangon — Daily COVID-19 infections have declined in Myanmar to below 1,000, said Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit.

“It is good that the infection rate is less than 5 percent of those tested but we can’t be satisfied with that. We have to maintain the momentum and make further progress,” she said.

She warned of a fresh surge if the public stopped following COVID-19 guidelines.

COVID-19 infections remained above 1,000 for more than two months until Dec. 19.

On Tuesday morning, Myanmar reported 122,534 COVID-19 cases with 104,351 recoveries and 2,618 deaths. Only 648 cases were reported with 17 deaths on Monday, a decline from over 1,200 cases nationwide on Dec. 16.

Most of the deaths were reported in the 61 to 75 age group. There is a mortality rate of 21 percent among the over-75s and 11 percent among 61 to 75-year-olds, said Dr. Khin Khin Gyi.

“People have to adapt to the new normal. If they can’t adapt, I’m afraid they won’t have the chance to welcome the new year. There will be a new year holiday. If people continue to follow the guidelines, there will be further declines in cases,” she said.

Myanmar has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, in its bid to inoculate about 15 million citizens.

In a televised speech on Dec. 24, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said the government has already made preparations for a vaccination program when supplies arrive. “We need to be very vigilant during this interim period. We should not stumble just as our goal comes into view,” she said.

On Sunday the Ministry of Health and Sports lifted stay-at-home orders in Mawlamyine and Bilin townships in Mon State, Maubin and Pyapon townships in Ayeyarwady Region, Thanatpin and Kawa in Bago Region, and Mohnyin in Kachin State and in some wards and village-tracts in Yangon and Mandalay regions.

Domestic flights have resumed and dining has been allowed at teashops and restaurants where stay-at-home orders are not imposed.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko