Myanmar Bans Domestic Travel to Stop COVID-19 Spread
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 11 September 2020
Yangon – Myanmar’s Committee for Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 has banned domestic travel after 1,635 cases have been reported since Aug. 16.
The first domestically transmitted case in a month was detected in a 26-year-old woman in the Rakhine State capital, Sittwe.
Yangon Region has reported 736 COVID-19 cases while other states and regions have reported 899 with most centered in Rakhine State. Eight COVID-19 deaths have also been reported.
The committee has instructed people not to leave their states and regions unless a journey is urgent.
Those traveling are instructed to follow COVID-19 guidelines.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has grounded all domestic flights while express bus services have been canceled.
Myanmar is currently reporting more than 100 COVID-19 cases per day with 262 on Thursday alone.
As of Friday morning, Myanmar has reported 2,265 COVID-19 cases, including 14 deaths and 625 recoveries.
Until Thursday morning, Yangon had 756 cases, overtaking the previous COVID-19 hotbed, Rakhine State, which has reported 652.
By Friday noon, the Ministry of Health and Sports could not publish the lists of 257 more patents which were reported on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Of Yangon’s 44 townships, 28 now have stay-at-home orders as the region became the center of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak.
On Thursday, Yangon Region’s government instructed residents not to travel until Oct. 1.
Myanmar’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in a televised speech on Thursday that the government has to set up restrictions in Yangon since it became the country’s COVID-19 hotspot.
She urged residents not to leave the city without a proper reason and that those leaving will face inspections and quarantine in other regions and states.
“Yangon is the city at the heart of Myanmar’s people although Naypyitaw is the capital where the government offices are located. So it is very important the city is a good symbol,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
She also said the government will enforce COVID-19 guidelines at markets and those failing to comply with the instructions could face harsh punishments.
Yangon Region stopped its COVID-19 surveillance operations on Sept. 8 due to medical criticism that the operations might spread coronavirus.
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