Nay Pyi Taw May 10
Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, accompanied by Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, Commander of Triangle Region Command Maj-Gen Khin Hlaing and officials, viewed installation of RT-PCR (Thermocycle ROTOR GENE-6000) for testing COVID-19 and processes of usage at the bio-molecule laboratory of the military hospital in Kengtung, Shan State (East), this morning.
At the meeting hall of the hospital, the commander and a hospital official reported to the Senior General on preparations to prevent COVID-19, donation of medical protected aids to the people’s hospitals and provision of rations to war veterans and families of the officers and other ranks who sacrificed lives for the Tatmadaw. The Senior General gave necessary instructions. The Senior General inspected installation of RT-PCR (Thermocycle ROTOR GENE-6000) for testing COVID-19 and processes of usage. Director of the Medical Services Maj-Gen Soe Win and a hospital official conducted the Senior General round the laboratory. The Senior General inspected preparations for quarantine facilities and left necessary instructions.
In meeting with officials from Kengtung People’s Hospital and General Administration Department, the Senior General explained the purpose of donations for COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment aids. In his speech, the Senior General said that Shan State (East) with poor transportation is different from other regions. Aviation transport also faces difficulties to operate flights for many reasons. Moreover, the area is sharing border with Thailand, Laos and China. COVID-19 disease firstly found in China in December 2019 started infection in January 2020. Since its infection, the Tatmadaw has been making preparations. Currently, there are 178 infected patients in Myanmar. As COVID-19 virus is invisible, everybody needs to take care of lifestyle conscientiously. The Senior General stressed the need to strictly enforce disciplines for containment of the disease.
Swab samples of suspect patients were sent to the National Health Laboratory in Yangon from Shan State (East) for conducting laboratory test. As infectious rate may be high because both areas are in a very long distance and transport time is very long, the Tatmadaw installed RT-PCR (Thermocycle ROTOR GENE-6000) at the military hospital in Kengtung. He said he has heard some station hospitals do not have medical doctors. If these hospitals are difficult, servicemen from the medical services of the Tatmadaw will give a helping hand to these station hospitals. Currently, COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment equipment were bought by the donated cash through wages from salaries of Tatmadaw members and civilian substitute-appointed personnel and donated to people’s hospitals, station hospitals and rural health centres. He urged them to efficiently use these items of equipment.
The Senior General stressed the need to examine those who returned abroad under eight kinds of disease symptoms. Body temperature of the suspects should be measured and checked by test kit. It is necessary to take special care of those people as the area is sharing border with three countries. He urged them to systematically check the border gates and assign necessary number of medical doctors in the border towns. Local people must be educated to follow basic facts, and officials should not educate the people without restraint. They have to dutifully carry out their tasks with own sense without waiting for assignments. It is necessary to give medical treatment to the confirmed patients with good relations.
Next, Deputy Township Admini-strator U Ye Naing of Kengtung Township General Administration Department, Dr Myint Kyaw from the Medical Services and Public Health Department and Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Hla Htay Min expressed sincere thanks to the Tatmadaw for donating medical supplies for COVID-19 prevention, containment and treatment to people’s hospitals, state and station hospitals, homes for the aged and rural health centres, which will be an impetus to health personnel. Thanks to the cooperation among health staff, Tatmadawmen and people, Shan State (East) could control the situation, except three infected cases. Three out of five suspected patients were tested negative for the virus. Checks are being conducted on the two remaining persons. Thanks also go to the Tatmadaw for providing medical equipment and nutritious foods. The matter of Tatmadaw’s plan to send medical doctors will be submitted to relevant departments, they said.
Then, the Senior General donated medical supplies for COVID-19 such as 1,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), 10,000 surgical masks, 100 goggles, 3,000 pairs of surgical gloves, three boxes of bleaching powder, 50 non-contact thermometers, 250 bottles of hand gel, 500 N95 masks and foodstuffs to Kengtung People’s Hospital. The donations were accepted by Dr Myint Kyaw and officials.
Due to a long journey plus time, space and manpower restrictions in sending swabs of suspected patients to the National Health Laboratory in Yangon, a plan has been made to keep RT-PCR (Thermocycle ROTOR GENE-6000) used for COVID-19 testing in Kengtung. The machine can test 34 people in three hours and about 200 in 24 hours.
The Senior General and party paid homage to Abhaya Raza Muni Buddha Image kept in the Buddha Park near Pankwe Village, about 15 miles southeast of Kengtung under the patronage of Thila Dhamma Konthatawya Monastery Presiding Patron (Wasipeik) Sayadaw Bhadd-anta Kovida, offered flowers and water to the image and walked clockwise.
The Senior General viewed construction of Thattathattaha Maha Bawdi Pagoda and sculpting of Buddha statues and images to be kept in the Buddha Park, left necessary instructions and fulfilled the needs.
Abhaya Raza Muni Buddha Image was built in the Buddha Park with the aim of ensuring peace and tranquillity, propagating Theravada Buddhism and attracting local and foreign pilgrims there by contributing to regional development in Shan State (East). Thattathattaha Maha Bawdi Pagoda will be built as a replica of Maha Bawdi Pagoda at Bodh Gaya in India. It is 108 feet in height. Moreover, four Samvejaniya places for marking giving birth, Enlightenment, preaching and attaining Parinibbanna are being built with the contributions of families of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) and public well-wishers.