Higher public participation is key to overcoming COVID-19 challenges

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As part of efforts to overcome the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important for each person to observe social distancing, and those who have close contacts with infected patients or live in outbreak areas should practice the 14-day self-quarantine without fail.
Hence, our people are also advised to follow the directives of the health authorities, and not see the 14-day quarantine as an obstacle. Only then can we overcome this crisis.
Meanwhile, health authorities and workers who are on the frontline of fighting the COVID-19 infection are obliged to clearly explain to the public about the directives and guidelines issued by various ministries.
At the same time, health authorities are taking steps to expand the intensive care units at hospitals in regions and states, in the face of possible increases in number of patients, following the formation of clinical management committees in regions and states.
Despite challenges, the authorities are preparing to send human resources, medicines and medical equipment as part of a resource mobilization to hospitals.
There are challenges in quarantine travel restrictions on the ground, though quarantine officers are assigned to enforce the rules in townships.
When compared with other countries, Myanmar has higher public participation in fighting the pandemic, which is a very valuable contribution by the people towards the country in this time of crisis.
We are confident that we can overcome current challenges with the participation of the people, as they are also on alert to the pandemic thanks to the correct and timely information distributed by the health authorities and reliable sources.
It has been found that announcing health guidelines and information over loudspeakers in wards and villages is a very effective strategy in fighting the infectious disease. Hence, we must put more strenuous efforts into this strategy.
It has long been said that information is a very powerful tool in overcoming the crisis.
Not only medical practitioners and health workers on the front line, but also the public wants, needs and demands regular, accurate and complete updates about the spread of the Coronavirus in our country.
We understand that our country has a big job to do in managing the crisis, from resource mobilization to supplying the public with accurate information.
But, in overcoming this crisis, following official guidelines and directives is the best way to ensure success.

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