Since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the Director-General of WHO, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide have now surpassed the one million mark while the global death toll has reached 64,000. As stated by WHO, even the most severe situation can be turned around and the experiences of some countries that have pushed back the virus give hope and courage to the rest of the world. One good example is the case of the People’s Republic of China where the first and hardest-hit regions have been brought under control and are now gradually getting back to normalcy, due to the commendable and effective control measures swiftly laid down by the Chinese Government.
In Myanmar, despite its early action with regard to surveillance and preventive measures, COVID-19 found its way into the country, and the first case was confirmed on 23 March 2020. The Government has since stepped up measures to contain importation and spread of COVID-19 by suspending the issuance of visas and all commercial flights until 13 April 2020. Special arrangements have been made to avoid disruption of trade, medical supplies and evacuation of stranded travelers.
The Government has been making rigorous efforts, within its limited capacity and resources, to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 and to mitigate its impacts on the economy under the guidance of a National Committee headed by the State Counsellor. At the same time, it is mobilizing the strength of our people as well as the support of friends and partners in its struggle to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. A COVID-19 Response Fund has been established with an initial government contribution of 100 billion Kyats to mitigate economic impacts. There is also a Fund to be used for the combating of COVID-19. There has been an outpouring of support in cash, kind and services from domestic well-wishers, volunteers, development partners and the international community, including the United Nations and its Agencies. With the growing awareness about the pandemic among the public, local communities across the country are actively undertaking their own protective measures under the guidance of the National Central Committee.
People are the key to the success of our fight against this virus. Central to the national response is not only control and treatment but also educating people about this new virus and seeking their cooperation to strictly follow the preventive guidelines and directives. In this regard, the Government makes sure that no one is left behind. Such responsive measures cover different strata of societies, including prisoners, Internally Displaced Persons, returnees from abroad and workers coming back across the border. As the spread of the pandemic remains on the rise across the globe, there is an urgent need for greater coordination and sharing of experiences and best practices among the ASEAN countries and key partners who have valuable experience in containing the spread of the pandemic, such as China, Japan and Republic of Korea. In this regard, Myanmar appreciates deeply the kind offer of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government to send medical teams to Myanmar to share their experiences and to donate lifesaving equipment and medical supplies which will contribute to the Government’s efforts to combat the pandemic. Myanmar would also like to express its deep appreciation to other development partners and to all those who have shown solidarity and extended their material and moral support to the government’s efforts in its war against the pandemic. We are confident that we can overcome the ongoing challenges posed by the Pandemic through four Ps, namely Political leadership, Preventive measures, Peoples’ participation, and the support of our Partners from near and far.SOURCE : The New Light of Myanmar