A volunteer group has actually been developing makeshift hand-washing stations in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in the lack of a methodical response by the government, which keeps the nation has actually no verified cases of the viral illness.
The humanitarian group Ma Ywe is setting up the stations near congested locations in the industrial capital of 5.3 million individuals to provide the public simple access to the standard preventive procedure.
The stations, which cost about 50,000 kyats-100,000 kyats each (U.S. $35-$70), are being established at bus stops in areas throughout the dynamic city, stated Moe Aung, vice chairman of Ma Ywe humanitarian group.
” We need to start practicing preventive steps that the World Health Company [WHO] revealed when it called the coronavirus break out a pandemic,” he informed RFA’s Myanmar Service.
The WHO stated the coronavirus, formally referred to as COVID-19, a pandemic on March 11, and released standards with practices for avoiding the spread of COVID-19, consisting of regular hand-washing.
Since Wednesday, there were 216,618 overall verified cases worldwide with more than 8,900 deaths, consisting of cases in 4 of Myanmar’s 5 surrounding countries– China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand.
Regardless of the growing variety of cases internationally, Myanmar State Therapist Aung San Suu Kyi duplicated in an across the country speech on Monday that no verified cases of the infection have actually been discovered, though she contacted residents to financially support a government fund being set p to combat COVID-19
More than 100 individuals have actually been evaluated for COVID-19, however the test results have actually returned unfavorable, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
“I felt particularly distressed as I watched the press conference on the coronavirus held at the President’s Office,” Moe Aung stated.
“One officer said the government has no funds to execute preventive measures in the country,” headded “I came to realize that we should start organizing preventive actions on a self-help basis. That’s how I started this project.”
The President’s Office on March 13 prohibited the holding of public events, consisting of the yearly Thingyan Buddhist New Year events in April, till April 30, stating that the suspension duration would be extended as required. Authorities likewise cautioned of jail terms for those who stopped working to report presumed COVID-19 cases.
‘False sense of security’
When questioned why Myanmar has actually stayed devoid of any verified COVID-19 cases, government representative Zaw Htay informed an interview that individuals’s “lifestyle and diet” and the typical usage of money rather of credit cards assisted include the spread of the breathing disease.
However there is no proof suggesting that diet plan and making use of banknotes stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Such irresponsible statements clash with everything we know about the coronavirus outbreak, defy reality, and only serve to give a false sense of security to the country’s people about the disease and their risks of infection,” stated Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human being Rights Watch, in a declaration released Tuesday.
Robertson kept in mind that neither Zaw Htay nor Aung San Suu Kyi discussed that the infection is now in a minimum of 155 countries around the world which Myanmar is particularly susceptible due to the fact that it shares a 2,227- kilometer permeable border with China where migrants and employees cross daily. China has actually reported more than 8,900 verified cases with over 3,200 deaths.
“The government’s public lack of concern has sparked rumors and speculation about the government’s response, leaving many distrustful and unable to make informed decisions for their families,” he stated.
Countless individuals in Yangon who depend on crowded public bus transport to navigate might be quickly exposed to COVID-19 from close contact with other travelers and with bacteria on seats and get bars, the Health Ministry has actually cautioned.
Yangon resident Thaung Thaung Phyu stated the hand-washing stations supply a much-needed service for commuters who do not have regular chances to clean their hands as they take a trip through the city’s crowded locations.
“I cannot wash my hands along the way because there are no facilities with clean running water in public places,” he informed RFA. “I am not using sanitizing had gels either, so having the hand-washing stations are very useful.”
With minimal funds, the Ma Ywe group has actually not had the ability to establish more than 10 hand-washing stations stated Moe Aung, who added that he hopes that other nonprofits will sign up with in the effort.
Kyaw Zwa Oo, a family doctor from Yangon, stated more of the stations are required.
“We need more hand-washing facilities for public use in Yangon because the city is densely populated, and many people use public transportation for their daily commutes,” he informed RFA. “It would be a good idea for more nonprofit groups joined in this campaign.”
Reported by Zarni Htun and Aung Theinkha for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translted by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Composed in English by Roseanne Gerin.