Suu Kyi Consoles Myanmar People Amid COVID-19, Stresses Health Guidelines, Calm

By The Irrawaddy 24 March 2020

YANGON—Myanmar’s de facto leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi consoled her fellow citizens and told them “not to fear but to be careful” after the country recorded its first cases of COVID-19 late on Monday, as the disease is controllable and the fatality rate is low.

A 36-year-old traveling from the United States and a 26-year-old returning from Britain, both Myanmar nationals, have tested positive for COVID-19.

In her televised message to the country on Tuesday, the State Counselor encouraged the people to strictly follow instructions from the Health Ministry while urging anyone to report immediately to a hospital if they have virus symptoms because “early treatment can reduce fatality.”

“Please don’t hide it. If you are under home quarantine, please follow the guidelines strictly,” she said. Myanmar currently has thousands of people under home quarantine, many of them migrant workers recently returned from Thailand.

In her message, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi offered assurance that there would be no food shortage in the country but warned against hoarding supplies and said people must buy only what they really need, in order to avoid panic buying.

“The government will not shut down markets and shopping centers,” she said.

She stressed that Myanmar will face the challenges of COVID-19 with the strength of the people because public participation is pivotal in the fight against the disease.

She emphasized that her government is tackling the situation responsibly and with transparency through real time updates.

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