Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe held a videoconference with the relevant officials of regions and states yesterday morning about challenges in the fight against COVID-19 in respective areas. At the meeting, the Union Minister said that the country has 319 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases up to 9 July and 254 recoveries. He said 50 percent of the transmissions are imported cases with the new cases also from foreign countries. Authorities have tested 88,234 people for the disease and only 0.9 per cent of people under surveillance, 0.2 per cent quarantined, 3 per cent of those who had close contact with confirmed cases, and 0.36 per cent of all lab specimens tested positive for COVID-19. Since the inception of the disease, 19 patients underwent serious treatment with only 5 patients requiring ventilators. About 58 per cent of all confirmed patients did not show any noticeable symptoms. All patients quarantined in each hospital are currently in good health. The number of people under quarantine has gradually gone down with each week and there are currently 6,114 people in quarantine sites and 23,780 people under quarantine.
The Union Minister added that there are about 1,200 returnees per day and if the relevant ministries and organizations cooperate in quarantining them, the potential for a second wave of COVID-19 will be reduced. Therefore, the Social Affairs Ministers for each region and state should keep providing for that sector.
The ministry has also instructed to conduct surprise checks in factories and workplaces, which are given permission to reopen upon passing initial inspections, by negotiating with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, said the Union Minister.
He said there has been a decline in the use of loudspeakers to disseminate public awareness on COVID-19 and so the Regional Social Affairs Ministers should make concerted efforts to expand this activity once more. He said the in-charges of regional and state public health and medical services departments should collect the directives and health instructions of COVID-19 released by the ministry, study the daily analysis of COVID-19 to become skillful, and to be mindful of daily official e-mails sent by the ministry on COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The Union Minister said that when State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as Chairperson of the National- Level Committee for Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19, led the videoconferences with experts from respective sectors and the general public, she said the instructions and feedback from the people are important and the ministry gives equal priority as well.
The regional and state public health departments must cooperate with Myanmar Medical Association, Myanmar Health Assistant Association and Myanmar Nurse and Midwife Association in conducting preventive measures against COVID-19. The Union Minister also said he wanted the 17 heads of regional and state public health and medical services departments who attended the meeting to provide their honest opinions regarding all processes for COVID-19. Next, the Social Affairs Ministers for Yangon Region and Kayin State, and the Security and Border Affairs Minister for Mandalay Region presented their respective efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The officials of regional and state public health departments also discussed about the various preparations, processes, directives and other aspects in combatting COVID-19. Afterwards, Deputy Minister Dr Mya Lay Sein, Permanent Secretary Prof Dr Thet Khaing Win, Director-General Dr Thar Tun Kyaw of the Union Minister’s Office, and Dr Soe Oo of Public Health and Medical Services Department engaged in the discussion. The Union Minister delivered a closing speech at the end of the meeting.—MNA (Translated by Khine Thazin Han)