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June 05, 2020

Stay united in preventing, controlling Coronavirus infection

As Myanmar migrant workers are returning in crowds from foreign countries, including neighbouring countries which are suffering from the Coronavirus outbreak, our country is at a very high risk of the people contracting the Coronavirus infection.
The large numbers of migrant workers returning to Myanmar will increase the spread of the virus. In this situation, we need to ramp up our current efforts, considering that an imminent epidemic is coming to our country.
This is not meant to induce panic, but to prepare citizens for what lies ahead.
Only by imposing travel restrictions or 14-day quarantines in homes or larger facilities can we minimize the possible spread of the disease. Two months after the outbreak, it has been found that this quarantine strategy is the correct way to effectively control the disease in outbreak countries.
The government is also implementing the quarantine strategy. The Ministry of Health and Sports has updated the steps for providing treatment to an infected patient and for controlling the infection, and it will soon distribute updated advisories to health authorities in regions and states.
With the contribution of the private sector, larger quarantine facilities are ready to provide accommodation for the returnees.
The regional authorities are transporting returning migrant workers to their hometowns, in an effort to quarantine them in their own homes.
The people should understand that what the government is doing for them is in the interests of the country and the people, and it is not meant to stigmatize those with the infection.
The returnees are also obliged to exercise a great degree of responsibility for strictly abiding by the quarantine. Social distancing will have to be accompanied by social solidarity and care for the more vulnerable populations.
Local authorities, health workers and the people will need to be even more sensitive towards the returnees in their wards, villages and towns, and provide support for home quarantine for 14 days.
In fact, COVID-19 can spread to others very rapidly, and we should notice that even Italy, a developed country, is facing difficulties in controlling the epidemic.
Hence, the local authorities are advised to ban holding traditional charity food donation ceremonies by the returnees, which attract crowds, as it is an activity inviting dangers in this time of pandemic.
Whether the general public follows the advice of health officials should be monitored by local authorities.
The authorities are also urged to alert the local people in rural areas, which are not easily accessible to TV, radio and internet, by disseminating information about COVID-19 over loudspeakers.
We should all understand that things may get worse before they get better. Our people must stay united.

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