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“Digital Platforms and Myanmar’s COVID-19 Response” online seminar held

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Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe speaks during the online seminar entitled “Digital Platforms and Myanmar’s COVID-19 Response” on 28 November 2020. Photo: MNA

Myanmar Digital Media Association Formation Committee organized an online seminar entitled “Digital Platforms and Myanmar’s COVID-19 Response” yesterday.
The event was joined by Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe, Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun, Committee U Thaung Su Nyein, Committee Vice-Chairpersons U Ko Ko (RIT) and Daw Nan Kalayar Win, Secretary U Min Swe Hlaing, committee members and other enthusiasts of digital media.
Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe firstly discussed the high demand of COVID-19 vaccine all over the world despite the achievement of an effective vaccine, inability to immunize across the nation in the short term, the use of digital platforms as soon as possible due to the genetic mutation of virus which can cause long existence of the virus in the world and the establishment of new digital platforms to accelerate the preventive measures of COVID-19.
The Union Minister talked about Logistic Management Dashboard which is being used in regions, states and townships Public Health Department and hospitals, the use of “Web-based COVID-19 Database Management System Application” ( in Nay Pyi Taw, other regions and states in December which was conducted as pilot project in Quarantine Centres and 300-bed Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw in November, the establishment of COVID-19 National Call Centre with Hotline “2019” in April which received more than 5.2 million enquiries during the first wave of COVID-19 in April while more than 6.3 million during the second wave in September and 3.1 million in October.
He also highlighted the launch of “Saw Saw Shar” Mobile Application developed by ICT team, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Health and Sports and Myanmar Computer Federation, permission of the government in the formation of e-Government Unit, the cooperation of relevant ministries for the development of e-Government unit and the role of today’s seminar as it is absolutely essential for the sake of country in the long run.
Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun said that the most important thing for the successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the real-time flow of accurate news, information and facts from accountable news sources.
If the flow of real news is blocked and slow, fake news, unscrupulously-fabricated stories, hate speeches and fear can spread among the public, producing bad results.
Therefore, it is important to effectively work via digital technology-based online platforms in fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.
The most popular social media platform in our country is Facebook, with its users 27.57 million in October 2020, the number that increased from 20.335 million in October 2018.
COVID-19, which is a big challenge for our country, cannot be overcome by only a person, a group and a department.
He then urged the people to cooperate with unity under the leadership of the National-Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19, the organization chaired by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Committee Chairman U Thaung Su Nein made a greeting speech and continued the discussion.
U Chit Tun Pe, Managing Director (Digital) of AYA Bank served as moderator and Dr Tun Thura Thet, Vice-Chair of Myanmar Computer Federation, Dr Sein Phyo Hlaing, who served as COVID-19 volunteer and the Author Lun Htar Htar (University of Medicine) coordinated the discussion.
They discussed digital technology, international digital platforms, experience in using QR Code, supports of digital adoption and the importance of correct information and data in using digital technology.
Dr Sein Phyo Hlaing talked about his experience while serving as a volunteer when he was admitted to the hospital as COVID-19 patient including the use of digital platforms, how the records of patients should be done in digital mode and educating programmes to eliminate the delivering of false news via digital platforms.
The Author Lun Htar Htar (University of Medicine) discussed the use of digital platforms in conducting Contact Tracing in England, opinions on COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment activities of Myanmar and healthcare services of private clinics under Tele-medicine.
Then, the questions raised by the attendees were answered by Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe, Deputy Minister U Aung Hla Tun and other officials.
The event was concluded following the remarks of the Union Minister and the Deputy Minister. — MNA  (Translated by Khine Thazin Han)

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