Myanmar to Lift COVID-19 Ban on Domestic Flights
By Zaw Zaw Htwe 14 December 2020
Yangon – Myanmar’s Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 has given the green light for domestic flights to resume on Wednesday.
Myanmar grounded all domestic flights on Sept. 11 after a surge of coronavirus cases.
Dr. Khin Khin Gyi, the director of the health ministry’s Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, told The Irrawaddy that the ministry has prepared COVID-19 operating procedures for airlines and passengers that will be announced soon.
State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said on Friday that the government is planning to resume international commercial flights as soon as possible.
International flights were halted on March 30 after the country’s first COVID-19 case was reported in a returnee from overseas on March 23.
Only cargo, special and relief flights have been allowed.
“Resumption of flights and travel are being planned for the immediate recovery of development,” said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The COVID-19 committee has extended restrictions, including a ban on travel and gatherings, until Dec. 31.
People are instructed to wear face masks and keep six feet apart when outside their homes. The committee instructed people not to leave their states and regions unless the journey is urgent.
Myanmar has imposed stay-at-home orders on about 80 townships in many cities, including the whole of Rakhine State and Yangon Region.
All tea shops and restaurants in the townships under stay-at-home orders have been restricted to serving takeaways.
Currently, Myanmar is reporting up to more than 1,400 COVID-19 cases and approximately 25 deaths per day.
On Monday morning, Myanmar reported 108,342 COVID-19 cases, including 2,268 fatalities and 86,795 recoveries.
On Sunday, Yangon reported 76,473 cases.
Despite a slowing in daily cases in Yangon, Myanmar has been seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases in Mandalay, Bago, Ayeyarwady and Sagaing regions and Rakhine and Mon states.
On Sunday, Myanmar’s second hardest-hit region or state, Mandalay Region, reported 9,338 COVID-19 cases, followed by Bago with 6,430 cases, Rakhine State with 4,024 cases, Ayeyarwady with 3,743, Magwe with 2,039, Mon with 1,870 and Sagaing with 1,302.
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