Myanmar Health Chiefs Tell Yangon to Enforce COVID-19 Restrictions
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 10 December 2020
Yangon – Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports has instructed the Yangon authorities to enforce coronavirus preventive measures to restrict COVID-19 cases in the city.
On Thursday morning, Myanmar reported 103,166 COVID-19 cases, including 2,174 fatalities and 81,715 recoveries.
Yangon reported 73,030 coronavirus cases on Wednesday.
In a Monday meeting, Dr. Myint Htwe, Myanmar’s health minister, asked the Yangon government to enforce COVID-19 orders.
He also said Yangon’s medical staff are exhausted and coronavirus will continue to spread while people ignore the rules.
U Phyo Min Thein, Yangon’s chief minister, told the health minister that the authorities have to consider the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 rules as residents were suffering from financial stress.
State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi recently said 74 percent of Myanmar’s cases and 92.7 percent of deaths have been reported in Yangon.
More than 500 medical staff in Yangon were infected with coronavirus and two medics have died, according to the regional health authorities.
Myanmar has seen large gatherings to celebrate last month’s general election victory by the National League for Democracy, the Tazaungdaing festival and weekend holidays despite stay-at-home orders and bans on more than 29 people gathering in the city.
Many tea shops and restaurants in the city are defying bans by serving food on their premises.
Hundreds of Yangon residents also visited the city’s parks during recent public holidays.
The Yangon regional authorities have been criticized for failing to enforce the rules and many residents have expressed concern about others breaching the COVID-19 orders, saying gatherings can boost the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Than Naing Soe, a health ministry spokesman, told The Irrawaddy that Myanmar could not beat COVID-19 while people fail to comply with preventative measures.
Currently, Myanmar is reporting around 1,500 COVID-19 cases and approximately 25 deaths per day.
Mandalay Region follows Yangon with the country’s second-most cases, reporting 8,282 cases on Wednesday, followed by Bago Region with 6,097 cases, Rakhine State with 3,948 and Ayeyarwady Region with 3,538.
Cases have been reported in more than 200 townships across 15 regions and states.
Myanmar is third in terms of COVID-19 cases in Asean, behind Indonesia and the Philippines.