Necessary preparations can be made only if correct information is available in parallel with times; everyone needs to follow guidelines with a sense of duty

Nay Pyi Taw May 7

The sixth coordination meeting on the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 and fulfilment of other needs was held at the meeting hall of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) here this afternoon under the patronage of Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The meeting was attended by 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 opening speech, the Senior General said the COVID-19 outbreak is still high and could not have been controlled yet in global countries. True situation is necessary in conducting tests. Good results will come out only through complete reviews and expositions. Necessary preparations can be made only if correct information is available in parallel with times. It is necessary to provide and know correct information.

Next, the attendees at the meeting  reported on functions of COVID-19 control and emergency response committees in various regions and states, infections and deaths in global, ASEAN and neighbouring countries, lowest rate of testing in Myanmar compared with other ASEAN countries as the country could test 9,980 samples only when the outbreak period reached the seventh meaning that 183 in one million people can be diagnosed, 162 confirmed cases, six deaths accounting for 3.7 percent, 10 virus-affected regions and states, three states (Kayin, Kayah and Rakhine) and two regions (Taninthayi and Ayeyawady) without any cases, 46 affected townships and the need to test many more samples.

They also reported on conditions of those who returned to Myanmar via Kanpaiktee, Lwejel, Muse, Chin-shwehaw, Tachilek, Mongla, Phayathonzu, Myawady and Kawthoung border gates from 22 March to 6 May 2020, keeping officers, other ranks and dependents of the Tatmadaw in quarantine, admission for the people in quarantine, allowing them to home after designated period, continuous situation of quarantine, good health condition of a serviceman in positive case found in Nay Pyi Taw Command area, keeping his contact persons in quarantine, testing them for disease and their negative results, and negative results of trainee officers and other ranks in Russia except five trainee officers of positive cases.

The continuous reports focused on discussions between those of medical team of the China’s People’s Liberation Army and Myanmar Tatmadaw medical team from 24 April to today, cooperation of them in laboratory tests, medical treatments for six patients at the Central Institute of Civil Service (Lower Myanmar) hospital where those from Tatmadaw Medical Services discharge duty, participation of Tatmadaw Medical Services in medical treatments in Tachilek, Tiddim and Sagaing Sitagu, and arrivals of antibody measuring machines, machinery related to medical treatments and reagents for pathogenic process.

They presented reports on accepted cash donations from wages and salaries of Tatmadaw members and civilian substitute-appointed personnel, accepting of more than Ks-2.316 billion, spending of over Ks-1.8 billion on five kinds of medical protected equipment for the first time, eight kinds of medical protected equipment for the second time and five kinds of medical protected equipment for the third time which were donated to 27 specialist hospitals, 28 general hospitals, 32 district hospitals, 257 township hospitals, 564 station hospitals and 1,070 rural health centres across the nation. Such donations reached 908 of 1,168 hospitals throughout the country, accounting for 78 percent and 1,070 of 1,949 rural health centres, accounting for 55 percent. Donated cash amounting to Ks-2.159 billion was accepted in May, and plans are underway to purchase and donate medical protected equipment.

They continued presentation of the reports on provisions of rations to war veterans and families of officers and other ranks who sacrificed lives, manufacturing and distribution of spraying suits and PPE suits, and resumption of operations of factories and workshops under Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Co Ltd after receiving inspection and approvals.

They also reported that as health awareness is raised and medicines and medical equipment provided by respective military commands in remote areas, such activities have been undertaken in 7,220 wards and villages. The reports highlighted transport of medical protected equipment by airplane and helicopter of the Tatmadaw, readiness of naval vessels as hospitals, formation of the committee to negotiate and cooperate with ethnic armed groups as part of efforts for prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19 disease, and ways to test virus of COVID-19 disease on step by step. The Senior General attended to the needs.

Then, the Senior General delivered a speech, urging the attendees to stay at home and to go out and discharge temporary duties only when it is inevitable as the spread of COVID-19 has not been kept under controlled. As the disease is highly contagious, it is necessary not only for officers and other ranks living inside battalions but also family members who are residing inside or outside battalions and war veterans and families not to go out without propose and to observe disciplines. As tests on whether one has contracted the disease or not are important, it is pivotal to take measures to increase the number of tests currently conducted. It is important for factories and workshops under Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holding Public Company Ltd and factories owned by the Tatmadaw to strictly comply with requirements for inspection and observance of disciplines. Affordable meals may be sold in respective military command areas if there is no difficulty but it is not mandatory to do so without fail.  It is vital to use reagents effectively, quickly and beneficially in conducting tests to identify the infection of the virus.

If it is difficult to reopen schools in June as usual because of the disease, it is convenient to arrange classes in which only ten students inside battalions, who sit at a designated distance from each other, learn necessary lessons from a teacher in turns by dividing the time available. On the other hand, education lessons for basic education middle and high schools and university level courses, Myanmar orthography, Myanmar language and literary usage, general knowledge, sport programmes that will contribute to health and fitness of youths, educative programs, daily education and health information can be broadcast in MWD Education, Knowledge and Sports channel launched as of 7 May.

It is necessary for the Tatmadaw to render assistance in Rakhine State as preventive measures against COVID-19 have not been taken there effectively. It is important to conduct necessary tests on returnees from other countries at border checkpoints. It is also essential to conduct tests on defence services Hlu-ttaw representatives and those who are assigned to offer administrative assistance to them. In conclusion, the Senior General reiterated that it is necessary for everyone to learn the true situation in real time and to perform duties conscientiously without being assigned.

Five officers studying in Russia and an other rank from Nay Pyi Taw Command totaling six members of the Tatmadaw have contracted COVID-19 so far while 16 servicemen and four dependents, 285 servicemen and 77 dependents and 328 servicemen and 25 dependents are kept in hospital quarantine, home quarantine and facilities quarantine respectively. A total of 522 members of the public including 297 people in the transit centre in Nay Pyi Taw, 205 people in the transit centre in Yangon and 20 people in the transit centre in Mandalay are kept in facilities quarantine. All the quarantined people are in favourable health conditions.

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