Nay Pyi Taw, March 23
The World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in the global countries as pandemic. A ceremony to donate necessary COVID-19 treatment aids including medicines and medical equipment in case infection occurs in Myanmar and cash assistance for internally displaced persons and Tatmadaw members serving military duties was held at Defence Services Orthopaedic Hospital in Mingaladon Township, Yangon Region today. Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivered address at the ceremony and accepted the cash donations.
Also present were Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, wife of the Senior General, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San and wife, Commander- in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw and wife, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) and their wives, Commander of Yangon Command Maj-Gen Thet Pon and wife, station commanders of Mingaladon Station, officers and donors.
As regards the purpose of the donation, the Senior General said collective precautionary measures must be taken against COVID-19 that is occurring in many countries around the world. Previously, there were 272,795 infected persons in the world. As 33,061 more were infected, the number reached 305,856.
The outbreak has much impact on the global economy, and both the countries that are facing the infection or not are suffering from economic and employment problems.
So, preparations for treatment and prevention should be collectively carried out as a national task. World Health Organization has already declared the virus as pandemic.
The Tatmadaw is continuously monitoring the outbreak, and suspended the 75th Anniversary (Diamond Jubilee) Armed Forces Day Parade as the infection rate was rising. The Tatmadaw made this decision with full accountability and responsibility.
Chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, is effective in treating patientsin some of the countries where the COVID-19 is occurring. As the Tatmadaw is using Chloroquine as an anti-malaria drug, the respective military commands presented the medicine to hospitals in the border areas from their reserve stocks. The donation ceremony can be held thanks to the donors who wish to render assistance in the COVID-19 preventive measure the Tatmadaw is carrying out at its military hospitals.
The COVID-19 containment and prevention task is divided into four stages, and arrangements are underway for medical units under the command of the Directorate of Medical Services to render assistance stage-wise. Inclusiveness is required as only the inclusive efforts can ensure perfectness in the part of prevention. All must stay away from spreading rumors.
The Senior General expressed thanks to donors of medicines and medical equipment supporting the treatments of Coronavirous Disease 2019 and wished them to continue to serve the interest of the country. Afterwards, Director of Directorate of Medical Services Maj-Gen Soe Win explained the preventive measures against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19). In accordance with the guidance of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services “Prevention is better than cure for any disease”, the Tatmadaw had launched awareness campaigns against COVID-19 for families of the Tatmadaw and local residents and collected necessary medicines and equipment. The Tatmadaw also donated medicines and medical equipment to People’s Republic of China, where Coronavirus Disease 2019 was first reported, and regions in the country. Four kinds of hospital equipment to be used in case of the outbreak were also distributed to 68 hospitals.
Hand-washing methods, maskwearing methods and salient points about the disease are broadcast in Myawady TV and published in the Myawady Daily every day. In launching campaigns for families of the Tatmadaw and local residents, the Tatmadaw effectively raise awareness by using loud speakers, microphones and distributing pamphlets without gathering crowds.
Then, Adjutant General Lt-Gen Myo Zaw Thein presented a water purifier worth Ks- 2.5 million for Waibargi General Hospital in North Okkalapa Township and medicines and medical equipment supporting the treatment of COVID-19 worth Ks-144.7 million for people’s hospitals donated by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) to Head of Department Dr Tun Myint of Yangon Region Department of Public Health and Medical Services.
Afterwards, well-wishers donated medicines and medical equipment supporting treatment of COVID-19, medicines and medical equipment and cash donation for members of the Tatmadaw who risked loss of lives and body for the country and sustained injuries, cash donation for internally displaced persons in Rakhine State. The Senior General, the Commander-in-Chief (Navy) and the Commander-in-Chief (Air) accepted the medicines and medical equipment and cash donation and returned certificates of honour.
Then, Head of Yangon Region Department of Public Health and Medical Services spoke words of thanks for donation of medicines and medical equipment. He said he would like to expressed thanks for donation of medicines and medical equipment supporting treatment of COVID-19 by families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) and he added that he would like to thank the Tatmadaw again because it has been donating for healthcare sectors many times and the surgical theatre donated by the Tatmadaw in Laydauntkan Station Hospital isbeing used beneficially. Everyone is worried about the COVID-19 because it is a global pandemic.
Meetings are held over COVID-19 and tests are being conducted in airports, hospitals, pagodas, railway stations and bus terminals and other public places. The Tatmadaw is giving assistance with might and main. The Ministry of Health and Sports alone cannot carry out the tasks, and all should join hands in unison to overcome the challenges.
He urged all not to disseminate fake news related to the disease. As the donation means encouragement to health sector as well as easing worries of the people, he, on behalf of health staff and people, expressed his thanks to families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) and well-wishers for their donations.
The Senior General and party cordially greeted well-wishers and guests at the ceremony. At today’s ceremony, families of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) and well-wishers donated Ks-148 million, six ventilators, 60 sets of portable ventilators, five oxygen sets and test kits for 20,000 persons as donations of medicines and medical equipment related to treating COVID-19 disease and Ks-304.6 million for the servicemen who sacrificed life for the State and the Tatmadaw and the injured servicemen, Ks-322 million, 665 bags of rice, 1,250 viss of edible oil and various kinds of foodstuffs worth Ks-7.5million as cash donations and supplies for displaced persons in Rakhine State.
The Senior General, wife and party viewed progress of health conditions of officers and other ranks and receiving medical treatment at the hospital for their injuries in discharging State defence and security duties with brave fight, comforted them in individuals and presented cash assistance and foodstuffs.
The Senior General inspected the medical ward where Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) suspects would be kept under monitoring, the medical store and the intensive care unit (ICU), and personal protective equipment (PPE) at the Defence Services Rehabilitation Hospital and the Defence Services Liver Specialist Hospital.
In order to give treatments to patients at a time if COVID-19 breaks out, four beds have been reserved for emergency patients and 144 beds for COVID-19 patients at the Defence Services Rehabilitation Hospital in Mingaladon Township,eight beds for emergency patients and 176 beds for COVID-19 patients at the Health and Disease Control Unit in Nay Pyi Taw, four beds foremergency patients and 196 beds for COVID-19 patients at the militaryhospital in Aungpan, and eight beds for emergency patients and 192 beds for COVID-19 patients at the military hospital in Meiktila. The entire Tatmadaw has made preparations to accommodate emergency patients on 24 beds and COVID-19 patients on 708 beds in total. If necessary, arrangements have been made to extend 452 more beds for patients.
In order to separately provide treatments to suspect patients, the military hospitals in respective military command areas have prepared to take intensive care for patients on 130 beds and give treatmentto suspect patients on 1,001 beds, totalling 1,131. Specialists/ medical officers, nurses/technicians and nurses (other ranks) have been grouped in readiness to carry outprevention, control and treatment for patients if COVID-19 disease breaks out.
The Defence Services Rehabilitation Hospital alone was designatedas the venue for providing treatments to those under monitoring of COVID-19 disease in the area of Yangon Command. During today’s visit, the Senior General arranged rapid preparations for monitoring and treating the people against COVID-19 at the Defence Services Liver Specialist Hospital.