As of Friday, May 29, several domestic airlines have resumed flight operations in Myanmar, following a halt in operations in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Golden Myanmar Airlines, Myanmar National Airlines, Air KBZ, and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines have all resumed flights to the majority of domestic destinations, and Air Thanlwin has announced that it will resume operations on May 30. On May 14, the country's ban on international commercial air travel was extended until Sunday, May 31, cargo, medical evacuation, and specially approved flights are exempt from the ban. Several international airlines have announced plans to resume flights to and from Myanmar in early June.
A curfew remains in effect in certain places between the hours of 00:00-04:00 (local time). The areas affected are Ayeyawaddy, Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, Mandalay and Sagaing regions, several areas of Yangon region, and seven townships in Kayah state. All express bus services in Nay Pyi Taw remain suspended, while all businesses in Mandalay, except for entertainment, have resumed operations. In Sagaing, residents are not allowed to leave their homes during the curfew except to purchase food or seek medical attention. Restaurants in Yangon are permitted to serve dine-in customers in areas with no COVID-19 cases.
An existing 14-day quarantine requirement for all returning migrants has been extended to 21 days, while the issuance of Visas to foreign nationals is suspended. Public gatherings have been banned as a precautionary measure. It is mandatory to wear a face mask in public in Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw. All of Myanmar's borders with Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, and Thailand, are closed to all travelers.
As of Friday, May 29, there have been 206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar, with six associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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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