The Ministry of Health and Sports announced that stay-home orders for four Yangon townships in Mingaladon, Hlaingthaya, Shwe Pyi Thar, and Botahtaung, would be lifted from 16:00 (local time) on Friday, May 15, after no new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases or clusters were reported in the area during 21 days prior to the announcement. Residents are advised to continue abiding by health guidelines as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, restaurants in Yangon are allowed to have dine in customers in areas with no COVID-19 cases.
Separately, ongoing curfews in select areas will be reduced effective Saturday, May 15. 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. All businesses in Mandalay, except for entertainment, may resume operations after Saturday, May 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.
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. 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. All international flights remain suspended until Sunday, May 31. Cargo, medical evacuation, and specially approved flights are exempt from the ban.
As of Sunday, May 17, health authorities have confirmed 184 COVID-19 cases nationwide, 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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