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14 Apr 2020 | 10:26 PM UTC

Myanmar: Border crossings with Bangladesh closed on April 13 /update 6

Myanmar closes border with Bangladesh on April 13 to prevent spread of COVID-19; abide by all government directives

entry/exit
health
transportation
MMR

Event

Myanmar has banned all entry and exit of people, except for cargo, at its border with Bangladesh on Monday, April 13, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The country's borders with China, India, Thailand, and Laos are also closed. Additionally, authorities imposed a daily curfew in Sagaing on April 13 from 22:00 to 04:00 (local time) as a precautionary measure. Residents are not allowed to leave their homes during the curfew except to purchase food or seek medical attention.

A ban on all international flights remains in place until Thursday, April 30. Cargo, medical evacuation, and specially approved flights are exempted from the ban. Additionally, an existing 14-day quarantine requirement for all returning migrants has been extended to 21 days. Visa issuance to foreign nationals is suspended. Public gatherings have been banned as a precautionary measure.

The Yangon Regional Government has advised all residents to stay at home during the annual Thingyan festival from Monday, April 13, to Thursday, April 16. However, domestic travel has not been suspended during the holiday. Hotels and guesthouses in Mandalay remain closed until April 21.

To date, there are 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar, including four associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.