On Saturday, June 27, Myanmar's Central Committee on COVID-19 Control released a statement announcing that measures in place to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including the suspension of international flights, will be extended until July 15. As well as the continued flight suspension, a ban on issuing visas and visa-exemption services will be extended, as will a mandatory three-week quarantine period for returning Myanmar nationals. The overnight curfew in Yangon from 00:00 to 04:00 (local time) will remain in place throughout this period, as will the lockdown in Insein township. A ban on gatherings of more than five people, with exceptions for funerals and work-related necessities, will also apply during the extension period. Face masks are compulsory in public places.
Some restrictions have been eased, however, with the operation of factories, workshops, and workplaces being facilitated. Bars and restaurants are reopening, with social distancing measures in place. Government, private, and monastic schools have reopened, and seminars, meetings, and training at government institutions are permitted. Government staff have also been ordered to return to work.
As of Sunday, June 28, there have been 296 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar, with six associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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.
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.