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Myanmar Steps up Efforts to Calm Fears Over Coronavirus Amid Rumors, Panic Buying

The Myanmar federal government on Friday assured people that food materials are sufficient and prompted individuals not to panic over the coronavirus pandemic, amid rumors about the spread of extremely infectious infection in the nation, which has yet to see any validated cases.

The Myanmar President’s Office bought all state and local federal governments to cancel all public occasions and mass events till completion of April, consisting of the Thingyan Celebration, likewise called the Water Celebration, which commemorated the New Year and falls on April 13-16

” As COVID-19 can quickly spread out in congested locations, [the government] has actually asked for the public not to hold public events, consisting of celebrations and events, beginning with today till April 30,” the federal government’s declaration stated. “If needed, the suspension period will be extended.”

The declaration likewise recommended the public to follow cautions and statements released by the Ministry of Health and Sports.

President’s Office representative Zaw Htay prompted individuals to get ready for a possible break out, and stated they must get and ignore rumors details on the infection, formally called COVID-19, from relied on mainstream news sources, consisting of RFA, the online journal The Irrawaddy, and the private weekly paper 7Day News

Zaw Htay’s remarks came a day after people in the business capital Yangon hurried into grocery stores and wholesale outlets in a crazy scramble for food and other materials wholesale amid a report that a verified case of the coronavirus was discovered in main Myanmar’s Magway area.

Authorities are now looking for those who released the false report and will take strong action versus them, the representative stated without elaborating.

The federal government likewise alerted that those who stopped working to report a believed COVID-19 case to authorities would serve time in jail.

Panic buying in both Yangon and Myanmar’s second- biggest city, Mandalay, was likewise stimulated by news of an official emergency situation conference in Naypyidaw on Thursday and commonly flowed rumors on Facebook of a restriction on events for 6.

To ease fears about food materials, Zaw Htay stated Myanmar has more than 15,000 lots of rice as reserves which if the circumstance worsens, the federal government will lower rice export and purchase extra bags from exporters

Zaw Htay likewise asked traders and businesspeople to interact to keep steady materials and rates of standard great till the infection pandemic dissipates. City Mart Holding Business Ltd., which runs the biggest grocery store chain in Myanmar, stated it would not increase rates for products, however may restrict purchases of some sought-after products to ensure reasonable circulation.

Myanmar has actually followed a suggestion by the World Health Company (WHO) and set up a main committee led by State Therapist Aung San Suu Kyi to concentrate on the avoidance and control of the coronavirus illness.

On Thursday, she went to an emergency situation conference on the corona infection at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to go over procedures and action strategies to relieve the long-lasting consequences of COVID-19 on Myanmar people, according to state-run Global New Light of Myanmar.

Considering That the first reported break out of the infection in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, Myanmar authorities have actually quarantined almost 90 individuals with associated signs, though all test results have actually been unfavorable, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Calm in distant areas

While Yangon locals remained in a state of panic on Thursday night, locals in other states, consisting of Kachin and Shan, and in Mandalay area, stated they were staying calm.

Businesspeople in bigger towns in these areas informed RFA’s Myanmar Service that it was business as normal in exchanges, which market and dining establishments were preserving their routine openingtimes Citizens stated they were worried about the coronavirus, they were not using face masks as some did when reports of the spread if COVID-19 first emerged.

Almost 4,000 employees in Myanmar on the other hand have actually lost their tasks in about 15 factories that have actually closed down as a safety measure versus the pandemic, according to the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Population.

Factory owners, labor union leaders and ministry agents met on Friday in Naypyidaw to go over the closures.

” Some factory closures remain in reaction to the break out in Wuhan [China],” stated Labor Minister Thein Swe after the conference. “Outbreaks elsewhere also factored into the factory closures here.”

9 of the factories have actually closed completely, while the rest are short-lived closures, he stated. 2 of the 15 plants have actually downsized their workforce

“We estimate that there will be more factories closing down temporally or permanently in the coming weeks,” Thein Swe stated. “It is difficult to estimate the exact number. It depends on the progress of the outbreak.”

“The state counselor has advised us to respond to these factory closures as best as we can,” he stated.

Labor Ministry official stated the laid-off employees would continue to got healthcare and well-being advantages, however not joblessness settlement due to the fact that it was not gathered from the factories.

Khine Khine Nwe, joint secretary general of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Market (UMFCCI) stated other business owners have actually revealed issue about perhaps having to shut their doors.

“The number of workers who have been laid off is nearly 10,000,” she stated. “Our numbers differ from those of the ministry because the ministry’s figures are a final assessment only for factories that have closed down.”

Nyein Nyein Oo from the Labor Union for Food and Agricultural Produce appealed to the business owners not to close the factories over coronavirus issues.

“We labors have families to feed,” he stated. “They could die of starvation instead of a virus infection.”

“Because they are living paycheck to paycheck, I would like to appeal to the entrepreneurs not to close the factories quickly,” he stated. “It may be simple for you to close a business, however please appreciate the survival of your workers.

A traveler using a face mask strolls through the almost empty departure hall at Noi Bai International Airport in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, March 12, 2020.
Credit: AFP

Cruise liner a concern

In Other Places in Southeast Asia, the Vietnamese federal government reported 3 brand-new cases of COVID-19 in a single day bringing the overall variety of validated cases to47 Of that figure, 16 individuals with the infection have actually recuperated.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that the federal government will compromise financial advantages in the short-term to secure the health of individuals.

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City prohibited the Silver Spirit cruise liner with 423 guests and 403 team members from docking over issues about the spread of COVID-19

Health authorities did not desire to ship to dock due to the fact that there were a variety of Italians amongst the team, and they feared they might be bring the infection and spread it if they disembarked. Italy has the highest variety of validated COVID-19 cases outside China, numbering 17,660 with 1,266 deaths.

However in an uncommon turn, Vietnamese authorities have actually excused 700 show engineers from Samsung Electronic devices from its compulsory 14- day quarantine duration for South Koreans showing up in the nation, Yonhap News Company reported, mentioning a source in South Korea’s embassy in Vietnam.

About 186 of the engineers showed up Friday in Quang Ninh province where they were taken to the Samsung factory in Bac Ninh province, the report stated. They will operate in different workplaces to prevent contact with other employees.

Other engineers are anticipated to show up in Vietnam in the coming weeks.

Samsung is the greatest financier in Vietnam, with export accounting for a quarter of the nation’s overall exports. In early March, the business started developing a U.S. $220 million center in Hanoi worth up to USD 220 million.

In Cambodia, the Ministry of Public Functions and Transfer on Friday put in location a restriction on all cruise liner going into the Mekong River through the Kandal province’s Ka-Orm Samnor International Checkpoint till more notification to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health likewise validated 2 brand-new cases of COVID-19 in a 49- year-old Canadian and a 33- year-old Belgian, bring the overall variety of validated to 7

3 British nationals from the Viking Cruise Journey ship are amongst the 7. The Health Ministry on Friday moved all staying guests from the vessel docked in Kompong Cham province to a regional hotel for self-isolation.

In a different case, Cambodian health authorities are keeping track of 2 immigrants– Chinese and british nationals– who went to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh and are thought of having COVID-19

They both evaluated unfavorable for the infection, however have actually been bought to self-monitor

The Health Ministry likewise reported that another 6 individuals had direct contact with a few of those validated as having the infection. Far, 4 have actually evaluated negatives, and the other 2 are waiting for test results.

An overall of 179 individuals have actually been discovered to have actually had direct contact with contact with COVID-19 clients, however all have actually evaluated unfavorable for the infection.

Reported by Thet Su Aung, Thant Zin Oo, and Thiha Tun for RFA’s Myanmar Service and by RFA’s Vietnamese and Khmer services. Equated by Nayrein Kyaw, Khet Mar, Ye Kaung Myint Maung, Huynh Le, and Sovannarith Keo. Composed in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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Sandra Loyd
Sandra Loyd
Sandra is the Reporter working for World Weekly News. She loves to learn about the latest news from all around the world and share it with our readers.

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