Special attention required to precisely understand and observe orders, directives and rules and to prevent spread of rumours and fake news

Nay Pyi Taw  April  20

The fourth meeting to prevent, contain and treat COVID-19 and to fulfil other requirements was held under the leadership of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the meeting hall of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) here this afternoon.

Present at the meeting were Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win, Union Minister for Defence Lt-Gen Sein Win, Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Mya Tun Oo, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw and senior military officers.

In his keynote address, the Senior General said the global pandemic COVID-19 broke out in the world over three months ago. In Myanmar, positive cases were firstly found on 23 March 2020. So, it has been a month since the infection started in the country. The Tatmadaw is taking all appropriate measures. Greater care should be given to patients with weaker immune system. All precautionary measures including travel restrictions and checks must be carried out in all seriousness. It is important for every person to definitely understand and strictly observe all the issued orders, directives and rules. As returnees from abroad are now in various parts of the country, military headquarters, servicemen and servicewomen, war veterans, those living outside the compounds of military units must inform officials of respective regions about the latest developments on the infection in real time. Participants should present progress in implementing the minutes of the previous meetings and future programmes.

In the presentations, the participants stated that there are over 2.4 million COVID-19 cases in 212 countries and regions worldwide; that the number of patients died of the virus is over 160,000, that the mortality rate is 6.85 percent, the five worst infected countries at present are the USA, Spain, Italy, France and Germany; that five countries that can contain the virus best are China, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Brunei; that the countries are able to issue orders and directives correctly and definitely and properly supervise the people to follow them; that during the four weeks from 23 March to 20 April morning, Myanmar had 111 positive cases, 5 deaths due to the virus, seven recovered cases, experiencing a 4.5 percent mortality rate; that during the same period the US had only 15 positive cases with no death; that after 14 weeks the number of positive cases reached over 700,000, and the number of death reached over 40,000; that Singapore had 85 positive cases, with no fatalities during the first four weeks; that after 13 weeks the number of cases reached over 6,000, with 11 deaths.

They also discussed that in Myanmar 37 were infected through the returnees from abroad, 57 resulting from a religious ceremony and 17 through local infection, totaling 111; that region- and state-wise infections are 91 in Yangon Region, five in Bago Region, four in Chin State, two in Mandalay Region, two in Sagaing Region, two in Shan State (East), one each in Shan State (North), Shan State (South), Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, Magway Region and Mon State. Positive cases were found in 35 townships of the country, and of them 22 were in Yangon Region.

They also reported on quarantine process in the Tatmadaw, no confirmed patient in the Tatmadaw based on conducting the tests for disease till today, production, purchase and accepting of donated disease prevention equipment, suits for spraying and medicines and raw materials used in spraying, distribu-tion of these equipment to various regions, admitting the people in quarantine, provision of rations to war veterans and families of officers and others who sacrificed lives for the State, spraying by vehicles and arrangements being made at factories and workshops of the Tatmadaw to abide by prescribed disciplines.

They gave presentations on situation on feeding nutritious supplements such as milk and eggs to patients at hospitals in respective military command areas, efforts of military commands, forward camps and military columns to share health knowledge and provide health care services to more than 240,000 people from over 50,000 households in remote areas from 16 to 19 April, plans to continue these tasks, transport of medical protection equipment to various regions of the country by Tatmadaw aircraft and vehicle, readiness of hospital vessels, medicines to be used in curing the confirmed patients, requirement of medical doctors and nurses for admitting patients in Tiddim and Tachilek and assistance of the Tatmadaw. The Senior General fulfilled the requirements.

Afterwards, the Senior General stressed the need to arrange transport of the initial diagnostic machines to necessary places as laboratory tests can be conducted in Yangon at present. It is necessary to form the groups comprising medical doctors, nurses and medical protection equipment for Tiddim and Tachilek. Helicopters must be used in transport of medical protection equipment to the hospitals of the areas where is no airport. He stressed the need to effectively carry out spraying tasks by vehicle. He pointed out that as ultraviolet ray and heat of the sunray can destroy virus, vehicles must be cleared from the roads as much as possible for falling the sunray on the roads. As duties have been assigned to military hospitals in their respective regions, it is necessary to emphasize prevention and containment of the disease in assigned townships. Field Medical Battalions must take out their strengths for the containment and control process. It is necessary to take food supplies of war veterans and families of military into consideration in a long run. He urged all to continue manageable and military owned agricultural and livestock tasks.

The Senior General continued to say that Tatmadaw factories must not halt production of compulsory goods and foodstuffs and must be  ready for the Tatmadaw. Except some equipment, all medical protection equipment must be distributed to respective regions without keeping them in hand. As all can participate in sports activities in respective military areas, they have to do so by following the training policies, orders and directives. The Tatmadaw must fully cooperate with civilian organizations for providing man power, materials and food requirements in carrying out prevention and containment of COVID-19 disease so as to safeguard life and property of the people. Health is essential for the people, and all must try hard to avoid acts of tarnishing the image of the country among global countries. It is necessary to take care of spreading rumours related to outbreak of the disease, and true information about the disease must be presented to the people on time. As such, people can take necessary preventive measures in time. He urged all to report the information they received in time.

Till today, no confirmed COVID-19 patient was found in the Tatmadaw. A total of 18 Tatmadaw members and nine dependents are in the hospital quarantine, 196 Tatmadaw members and 106 dependents in the home quarantine and 345 Tatmadaw members and 170 dependents in the facilities quarantine. A total of 177 people are in the facilities quarantine at Yangon Transit Centre, 489 people at Nay Pyi Taw Transit Centre and one civilian at the Defence Services Advanced Military Training Depot in Kengtung, totalling 667. They all are in good conditions of health.


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