Any threat to public health is a crime


As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 85 yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Sports has taken steps to enforce the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law.
In the order issued yesterday, the ministry labeled the coronavirus an “epidemic or notifiable disease” under the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law and banning the gathering of five and above, in efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19.
This means those who fail to follow the health guidelines and to cooperate with the authorities under the law could face punishment.
Those who violate the restrictions imposed by the health authorities under the Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law can face six month jail terms, fines of K50,000, or both.
The order came out after the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi posted a message to the people on her Facebook Account that the “Need for COVID-19 prevention, containment, treatment has become clearer, steps towards containment of the disease to begin with legal actions.”
The people are advised to clearly understand the current situation of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country and to strictly follow the health guidelines. In this time of crisis, any threat to public health is classified as a “crime”.
The fight against coronavirus stands or falls on individuals. We should consider that everybody might carry the Coronavirus with them and could infect their own families first, then spread the infection to others if they go outside and do not follow the guidelines.
To effectively stop the source of rapid infection, we need to put in place aggressive, adequate and immediate measures.
The people are urged to act as dutiful and good citizens by following the directives of the health authorities including social distancing and quarantine measures. Besides, if a communicable disease is detected among public and private health workers after they contact an infected person, they must immediately inform the authorities.
According to the order, any gathering of five or more persons in society can be punished according to the law.
In fact, the world has faced infectious diseases before and we have come through it, just as we will get through this. It is best to be vigilant and cautious, but not to panic. “Be Calm and Wash Your Hands.”

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