Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Citizens Asked to Stay Home During Cool Season to Avoid COVID-19

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 20 November 2020

Yangon – Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports has requested residents stay at home and avoid gatherings as the cooler weather is likely to boost the spread of COVID-19.

Myanmar is seeing COVID-19 spikes after large gatherings in cities marked the National League for Democracy’s electoral victory.

The ministry stated on Thursday that traveling over Christmas and New Year could increase the coronavirus infection rate.

State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday said the spread of COVID-19 could increase following gatherings celebrating her party’s election victory.

Myanmar’s authorities have reported more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases per day since Tuesday after cases had flattened to around 1,000 over the past two weeks.

A health ministry representative told The Irrawaddy this week that three NLD supporters who attended an election celebration tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 9.

More than 200 out of 4,000 people who traveled to vote have also tested positive.

On Thursday, Yangon Regional Election Sub-Commission said 83 of its members, including the chairs of district and township sub-commissions, polling station staff and their relatives, have tested positive for COVID-19.

A Mandalay sub-commissioner told the media that seven electoral staff and three police officers assigned to its office had tested coronavirus positive.

Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the ministry’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit, told The Irrawaddy that anyone who gathered to celebrate the NLD’s election victory should self-isolate for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

She urged anyone suffering from coronavirus symptoms to report to the health department.

Cases are surging outside Yangon, where the rate of new infections is slowing after peaking at more than 1,900 cases last month.

More than 200 new cases have been reported daily in other areas, including Bago, Mandalay and Ayeyarwady regions and Rakhine State.

Cases have been decreasing in Rakhine State after a spike in August.

At Friday noon, Yangon reported 57,669 COVID-19 cases, followed by Bago Region with 4,153 cases, Mandalay Region with 3,995 cases and Rakhine State with 3,386.

On Friday morning, Myanmar reported 74,882 COVID-19 cases, including 1,676 fatalities and 55,633 recoveries.

Myanmar is third in terms of COVID-19 cases in Asean, behind Indonesia and the Philippines.

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