Myanmar’s Military Braced for Coronavirus Outbreak: Spokesman

By Thiha Lwin 23 March 2020

Naypyitaw — Myanmar’s military is ready to address a possible coronavirus outbreak, armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun has told reporters, as Myanmar stepped up preventive measures.

“We have systematically designed response plans regarding COVID-19 and will take all the practical measures,” he said on Sunday.

Led by the Directorate of Medical Services, which commands the Myanmar Army Medical Corps, a coronavirus control committee is educating the public, networking with civil agencies and training military medics to treat COVID-19 patients.

The regional commands have also been instructed to cooperate in monitoring and controlling COVID-19 and providing treatment for patients, he said.

The Tatmadaw (military) has also prepared military hospitals to be used as quarantine centers and had put medical teams on alert, he added.

The military had distributed 58 medicines to treat COVID-19 to hospitals with 300 beds and more across Myanmar and also distributed four kinds of protective equipment to 68 hospitals.

Armed Forces Day on Friday is being postponed despite plans to make the 75th anniversary of the victory over the Japanese larger than normal.

Military personnel spray disinfectant at a hospital on March 20 as a preventive measure against COVID-19. / Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Office

“We had made a lot of preparations for this event because silver, gold and diamond jubilees are rare,” said Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun.

The coronavirus outbreak has spread to 177 out of 194 members of the World Health Organization, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

The death toll from the virus topped 14,000 on Sunday. Around 200 people, most of whom have returned from countries experiencing an outbreak, are in quarantine in Myanmar. No confirmed cases have been reported in the country.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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