Myanmar & COVID-19

Myanmar Jails Two Returning Migrant Workers for Defying Quarantine

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 3 April 2020

YANGON—Courts in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy and Sagaing regions have jailed two men who recently returned from abroad for refusing to stay at quarantine centers as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Lawmaker U Soe Khaing from Ayeyarwaddy Region’s Lemyethna Township told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the township court sentenced a man who returned from China to three months in prison with hard labor for refusing to stay in the township quarantine center.

The returnee fled the quarantine center on Wednesday after being sent there on Saturday.

Township police arrested him on Thursday and the court sentenced him on the same day under Section 18 of the Prevention and Control of Communicable Disease Law.

The man was sent directly to prison, U Soe Khaing said.

Also on Thursday, Pale Township Court in Sagaing Region in northwest Myanmar sentenced another returnee migrant worker for failing to follow the instructions of the quarantine center supervisor earlier that day, lawmaker U Myint Kyi told The Irrawaddy.

The township court sentenced the returnee to six months in prison with labor under Section 30(a) of the Natural Disaster Management Law.

The man would be sent to prison after spending 14 days in a quarantine center, according to a local news report.

As of April 2, Myanmar had a total of 20 COVID-19 cases, including two children.

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