Interview with Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and Rector of University of Medicine (1) Dr Zaw Wai Soe

The Yangon Region government and the Ministry of Health and Sports are working together to control the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
The interviews with Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and Rector of University of Medicine (1) Dr Zaw Wai Soe regarding their performances for the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 activities in the region are as follow:

Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein
The COVID-19 infection rate is increasing in Yangon Region. There are over 200 cases per day. Therefore, my government is making efforts together with the Ministry of Health and Sports to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to house the infected people and those who have close contacts with them at the quarantine centres. On the other hand, we also try hard to ensure stable economy and social affairs in our region. What I want to say is that my government makes its best concerted efforts to stabilize the economy and social sectors by cooperating with all the ministries.
Regarding with the COVID-19 pandemic, my government strictly carries out for the people to follow the directives released by the National-Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19. Such strict measures are aimed for the public to protect them from infection. I am grateful to all who participate in this measure. Public participation plays crucial role in such cooperation works. As we have witnessed participation of public in Yangon Region, I hope that we are able to control the COVID-19 in next three weeks. I also want to urge our people to join with us for this situation. I want them to follow Stay-at-Home order and other programmes not to go outside for unnecessary reasons, washing hands and wearing masks. If the individuals follow these programmes, we could control the disease in Yangon Region to a certain extent.
Moreover, we heard some rumours that there are no enough quarantine facilities for treatment currently. We have already managed quarantine centres at Waibargi and in South Okkalapa. There are many spacious spaces there. There are 843 patients at Phaunggyi COVID-19 quarantine centre. It can accommodate up to 1,220 patients. It can house more patients. There are 67 patients at Wabargi and 43 patients at South Okkalapa Hospital. Moreover, we prepare Yoma Yeik Thar in Dagon Myothit (Seikkan) Township to be used as quarantine centre. Currently, 1,206 people who had close contact with positive cases are staying quarantine at Yoma Yeik Thar and 272 positive cases are also kept there. Then, 13 buildings are left vacant there and it can accommodate other 1,756 patients. So, we have enough quarantine facilities. We also prepare Hline quarantine centre to put more positive cases. It can accommodate about 1,600 people and now there are only 593 patients. So, it can accept further 1,067 people. I want to say that there are enough quarantine facilities.
This is because the government is working together with the Ministry of Health and Sports to ease the concerns of public as much as they can. We organize coordination committee on treatment and control of COVID-19 and hold daily meetings. Now, we can say that there is progress or improvement. Therefore, the entire people can stay peacefully regarding with the current situation but with full of awareness. I want to say not to worry about it. If the entire people cooperate with us with health awareness, we could overcome these situations. Currently, there are 31 quarantine centres in the region. It is still possible to accommodate more than the current numbers as many spaces are left.
Rector Dr Zaw Wai Soe from University of Medicine (1), Yangon
I am the vice-chairman of the Yangon Region’s Coordination Committee on COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Treatment. The committee was formed to coordinate in a timely manner during the crisis of COVID-19 in Yangon. Medical doctors from the respective states and regions have arrived here to control the situation in Yangon; 20 from Mandalay Region, 20 from Magway Region, 20 from Kayah State and 20 from Ayeyawady Region to enforce the doctors in Yangon.
More common people are found wearing masks this week. Traffic congestion has declined. They follow the rules. They avoid public gatherings and they stay apart from each other. We didn’t see them eating or drinking in groups. If they continue to maintain these practices in next two or three weeks, the pandemic will be under control in Yangon. Living this way could save lives. It is also like taking medical treatment. It is not true that there are not enough doctors for patients. There are only few patients to hospitals for medical treatments of other diseases. As regions and states are working in full cooperation, the doctor- to-patient ratio is quite reasonable. Healthcare service is in full swing in Phaunggyi, Waibargi Hospital and South Okkalapa Hospital. We are making the right decisions in terms of treatment.
The disease can’t infect healthy young people or those in good strength. However, it can attack more people with poor immune system.
Fragile persons need to have more protection from the disease. Everyone is working hard to prevent this. Therefore, we need to work together to care the elderly, people with poor immune system and people with chronic disease.— Min Thit (MNA), Photo: Zaw Min Latt) (Translated by Khine Thazin Han, Ei Phyu Phyu Aung)

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