Authorities on alert over Wuhan coronavirus: Ministry of Health and Sports

Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe addresses the work coordination meeting for prevention 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA
Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe addresses the work coordination meeting for prevention 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

Health authorities have been placed on alert due to the outbreak in Wuhan, central China of a deadly coronavirus, beefing up Pneumonia surveillance at the Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay international airports since 5th January.
Ministry of Health and Sports held a coordination meeting in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with attendance by Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe, focusing on surveillance, standard operating procedures-SOPs, clinical management guidelines, laboratory facilities, health advisory for travellers, personal protective equipment and other measures to fight and response to the virus.
At the meeting, Dr Nyan Win Myint, Deputy Director of the Public Health Department, reported on tour of inspection to the international airports and installation of Thermal Scanner, holding the meeting on prevention and fighting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) on 8th January, distribution of Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs to quickly response to suspected patients and dissemination of latest information on the infectious disease on social media by the ministry.
Dr Zin Mar Soe, Deputy Director of the Medical Services Department, reported on distribution of Clinical Management Guidelines, quarantine units for suspected patients at Waibargi Special Hospital, Mandalay General Hospital and Nay Pyi Taw 1000-bed Hospital, drills based on the experiences on previous infectious diseases and human resources and stockpiling of medicines and medical equipment.
Dr Ohmar Swe Tin, Deputy Director of the National Health Laboratory (Yangon) reported on preparations laboratories in regions and states, distribution of directives to the laboratories and arrangements for linking with WHO and international laboratories if suspected patients are found.
Dr Than Naing Soe, Director of the Health Knowledge Promotion Division, reported on raising health awareness about flu in the winter season and distribution of health advisory for travellers at international airports and health warnings in Myanmar and English on LED boards.
Prof. Dr Sabe Pyu of the Tropical and Infectious Disease Department of the University of Medicine-2 reported on drills, readiness for accepting suspected patients in quarantine rooms, personal protective equipment for medical workers and equipment. After hearing the reports, Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe stressed the need to reinforce the surveillance works at the international airports, adding that travellers the outbreak countries should be put under surveillance though there are no symptoms when they arrive. He also gave instructions on providing medical care to suspected patients in quarantine rooms in accordance with standard operating procedures, adding that directives and SOPs should be distributed to hospitals including private hospitals and clinics through the Myanmar Medical Association and private medical associations.
The Union Minister also stressed the importance of quick response to the disease in accordance with the directives.
At the meeting, experts and officials presented their suggestions and proposals to the ministry. —MNA

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