The Central Committee on Prevention, Control, and Treatment announced on Wednesday, May 13, that ongoing curfews in select areas will be reduced effective Saturday, May 15, as measures to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are eased. Curfew hours currently run from 22:00-04:00 (local time), but will be reduced to 00:00-04:00.
Curfews remain in place in Yangon, Ayeyawaddy, Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, and Sagaing regions and seven townships in Kayah State. In Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, the restrictions are in place in all townships of the territory, including the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. All express bus services in Nay Pyi Taw remain suspended. A curfew from 21:00 to 04:00 has been in place in Mandalay since Thursday, April 16. In Sagaing, residents are not allowed to leave their homes during the curfew except to purchase food or seek medical attention. Loikaw, Demoso, Phayuso, Shataw, Bawlakhe, Phasaung and Maese in Kayah State will be under curfew from Tuesday, April 21, until Wednesday, May 20.
The Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) previously announced on Friday, April 24, that an ongoing suspension of all international flights will be extended to 23:59 on Friday, May 15, to prevent imported COVID-19 cases from entering the country. A further extension is likely given the current restrictions on domestic travel. Cargo, medical evacuation, and specially approved flights are exempt from the ban.
Authorities in Mandalay announced on Wednesday, April 22, that individuals returning from regions in Myanmar with positive cases must complete a mandatory 21-day facility quarantine and seven-day home quarantine. Those returning from areas with no reported COVID-19 cases will be required to quarantine only if deemed necessary following a compulsory medical check. Arrangements may also be made for individuals who wish to be quarantined in hotels.
An existing 14-day quarantine requirement for all returning migrants has been extended to 21 days. Visa issuance to foreign nationals is suspended. Public gatherings have been banned as a precautionary measure. All of Myanmar's borders with Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, and Thailand, are closed to all travelers.
As of May 14, health authorities have confirmed 181 COVID-19 cases across Myanmar, including six associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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