Nay Pyi Taw April 27
The fifth meeting to prevent, contain and treat COVID-19 and fulfil other requirements took place at the meeting hall of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), here, this afternoon, led by Commanderin- Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
Present at the meeting were Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services 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 address, the Senior General said that it was the fifth coordination meeting related to COVID-19 disease. The Tatmadaw is carrying out necessary tasks depending on international and local situations. As necessary equipment for preventionof the disease were collected as much as possible and distributed without delay, these items of equipment have been supplied to the areas across the nation to some extent. But, it is not enough yet. It is still difficult to guess situation of COVID-19 disease which cannot be seen, smelled and heard, it is necessary to inform the people about true information on conditions of the country. Every country is trying to safeguard lives of the people.
Attentiveness is never excessive and all the people have to be on the alert for the disease. All must do many sectors. The Senior General urged those attendees to present reports on progress of respective sectors and experiences.
The attendees reported on participation of deputy commanders from respective military commands as members in the Nay Pyi Taw Council and Region and State COVID-19containment and emergency response committees, infection and fatal rates of COVID-19 disease in global countries, ASEAN countries, neighbouring countries and Myanmar, no infection of disease in the Tatmadaw, conducting of tests for suspect patients, admitting and releasing of Tatmadaw members, families and people in quarantine, and cooperation of troops from medical services in prevention and treatment of the disease at Tiddim, Tachilek, Kengtung and Sagaing Sitagu.
They also presented reports on plans to donate disease prevention equipment worth Ks-1.6 billion from Ks-2.316 billion donated by one day wage of Tatmadaw members and civilian (substitute) staff to 17 specialist hospitals, 33 general hospitals, 22 district hospitals, 253 township hospitals, 304 station hospitals, more than 350 health centres and homes for the aged in stations, townships, districts, regions and states, and further plans to buy the equipment to be donated to these hospitals.
The attendees also submitted the reports on accepting of test and inspection for seeking approval and quality setting of the National Health Laboratory to operate COBAS 6800 analyzer so as to test and approve COVID-19 virus, cooperation with the People’s Liberation Army of China in exchange of experienceand diagnostic measures, distribution of disease prevention equipment, restructuring and using of some vehicles from Tatmadaw’s automobiles as spraying vehicles, accepting of inspection on respective disciplines at factories and workshops under Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Co Ltd and Myanmar Economic Corporation, availability of approvals, operation of factories, provision of rations to war veterans and the families of officers and others who sacrificed lives for the Tatmadaw, further assistance for them, dissemination of health knowledge and health care services given to the people in remote villages from states, feeding of supplement nutritious feeds to patients at the hospitals in respective military commands, transport of medical protected equipment by Tatmadaw airplane and helicopter, and transport of medical protected equipment, and foodstuffs and other goods to departmental personnel and local people from Coco Island by Tatmadaw naval vessel.
Their reports included daily announcement of statements and notifications on the disease by loud speaker in respective regiments and units in military commands, arrangements for taking the adopted sports and physical exercises, supervision for strictly abiding by the issued orders, directives, rules and disciplines, plan to inspect quality of donated and bought medical protected equipment, and keeping of daily accounts and data.
The Senior General attended to the needs. In his speech, the Senior General said in purchasing, donating and distributing equipment for disease prevention, they must reach really necessary places. COVID-19prevention and control measures are like a war, so an operation is required. At present, correct information must be extensively passed on to the people so that individuals can know news and educative measures.
As there are educative, prevention and treatment measures in the health sector, those assigned duties are responsible for educative measures. Each and every person is responsible for prevention. There is no medicine or vaccine for COVID-19, so a careful and considerate lifestyle of individuals is of utmost importance in order to prevent the spread of the virus. It is necessary to follow the restrictions. It is also necessary to be careful about everything as there is no spare life for human beings. For the prevention of the virus spread, people must exactly follow the rules while authorities for their part need to enforce those rules.
There are four major points for the virus prevention. They are hygiene, disinfection, healthiness for immunity and careful movement including wearing masks. Patience is necessary as the casual recklessness of a person can lead to a risk of mass infections.
Health and medical staff will take charge of treatment. As there is no medicine or vaccine for the disease, it is best for the people to protect themselves through patience. There are some countries which are able to prevent the virus thanks to their patience. They are Vietnam, Laos and China, for example. Therefore, efforts must be made to ensure that Tatmadaw members, their families and the people understand better.
An invisible enemy is most dangerous. So, cooperative efforts are necessary to expose it for the knowledge of the people and the State. In diagnostic tests, those responsible must carry out tests in an indiscriminate manner while results must be surely publicized. As it is a national issue, Tatmadaw with its own spirit is doing what should be done. Since it is a long-term issue, preparations must be considered if any necessity for the people arises such as meals.
The COBAS 6800 analyzers were installed in 2018-2019 fiscal year in order to conduct tests for HIV and Hepatitis B and C in the Tatmadaw. As people infected with such diseases cannot discharge duties in the Tatmadaw, the system was installed to get results correctly, exactly and quickly. After the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019, as it was learnt in March 2020 that the system could also be used in testing COVID-19, efforts were made to purchase necessary reagents. As the global demand for the reagents was rising, the Tatmadaw was able to acquire reagents for 2,000 patients in the third week of April and conducted tests to examine whether they could be used in COVID-19 tests. After the tests proved successful on 23 April, the Tatmadaw announced that it could offer assistance in combat against the disease. The Tatmadaw has ordered more reagents for 20,000 patients and efforts are being made to acquire as many reagents as possible.
It is necessary to find out ways and means, after calculating the amount of calories necessary for a human, to sell rice and curries at reasonable prices without seeking profits. As people who worked in other countries are coming back to Myanmar for various reasons, it is necessary to consider creating opportunities for them to work in agriculture and livestock breeding tasks and production in their respective regions to enable them to earn incomes after their quarantine period has expired.
Although it is necessary to drink a lot of water and to wash hands frequently to prevent COVID-19, people have faced shortage of water depending on climatic conditions and it is necessary to place an emphasis on water supply. As natural disasters like gales affect everyone, it is essential for each individual to take measures for prevention of them.
There has been no confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Tatmadaw so far and 19 members of the Tatmadaw and four of their dependents are being put in hospital quarantine while 217 personnel of the Tatmadaw and 91 dependents are being kept in home quarantine. A total of 313 personnel of the Tatmadawand 109 dependents are also being kept in facilities quarantine while a total of 541 people are being quarantined at Tatmadaw facilities including 448 members of the public at the transit centre in Nay Pyi Taw, 85 members of the public at the transit centre in Yangon, one member of the public in the Defence Services Advanced Training Depot in Kengtung and seven members of the public at the transit centre in Mandalay.