At present, prevention of COVID-19 is important for the State, said Chairman of the State Administration Council Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the coordination meeting on prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 at the meeting hall of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
In his address, the Senior General said the outbreak of COVID-19 started in some countries in late December 2019 and early 2020 and in Myanmar on 23 March 2020. The infectious rate of the disease in the third wave was higher than the first and second waves. Hence, it is necessary to continue the prevention of the disease. The infection of the disease covers 296 townships among 330 townships in Myanmar. If necessary, restrictions should be tightened for the people to strictly follow the orders related to COVID-19. Likewise, people need to have high immune against the disease. Schools are temporarily closed not to cause crowds. At present, the prevention of COVID-19 is important for the State.
With regard to the production of the COVID-19 vaccine and acceleration vaccination, the Senior General said: “We bought vaccines for prevention and treatment of the disease. The previous government also purchased the vaccines. We bought 30 million units of vaccine from India. After the arrivals of the first two million units of the vaccine in the first batch, India suspended sending of vaccines to us due to various reasons. Especially, India was difficult to give vaccines to us because it restricted infection of the pandemic. We have paid cash in advance for 30 million units of the vaccine. We have paid US$75 million. After arriving of 2 million units of vaccine, no more arrives here. During the period, China provided vaccines to us. And, some donors presented a small number of vaccines to us. On my arrival in Russia, I met with the Minister of Defense of Russia and the Secretary-General of the Security Council of Russia and demanded the vaccines. They immediately fulfilled my needs. When I asked for them to demand 2 million units of vaccine, they gave me a promise to give the vaccine. As difficulties, they did not have much capacity for the production of vaccines. It is because they distribute the vaccines to the world. So they could not supply the whole vaccine. They deliver vaccines in batches to us. It is sure to get the vaccine. They gave the promise to start sending vaccines to us this month but they could not predict how they can export the stocks to us but they can announce the amount when they start exportation. They said the number of vaccines would be tens of thousands of units. So also, China provided medical aid and vaccines to us and sold five more million vaccine units to us. Then, we allowed private hospitals and companies to import COVID-19 vaccines. So, it would not be enough for the vaccine. Myanmar’s population reaches 55 million. The directive mentions vaccines must be given to those more than 18 years old. But, those under 18 are humans.So, it will be effective. If the vaccine saves for the people, we will arrange vaccination for those people. Now, it was not decided the age for vaccination yet. We will do vaccination depending on the declaration of the countries which produce vaccines. As we buy not too many vaccines, we arrange for the Myanmar Pharmaceutical Industry to manufacture the vaccines if it has capacity. In this regard, Russia has agreed on it in principle. They agreed to cooperate with us in the production of vaccines. But they requested us to visit the factory to decide things how to run the production. So, we invited them to pay visits to us this month as quickly as possible. Not only Russians but also those from the field of cooperation measure will come to us. But I’d like to note that as the current infection in Myanmar is serious, they are urged to consider their trip. So, I mention matters related to the vaccine. And, we need to vaccinate the people with the use of bought ones as soon as possible. It is necessary to vaccinate the people on course without remaining vaccines in hand.”
Schools are temporarily closed not to cause crowds. At present, the prevention of COVID-19 is important for the State.
With regard to the treatment sector, the Senior General said: “For managing the treatment sector, all the hospitals are making preparations since last month. As I was doubt about it, I ordered all to prepare the hospitals. These tasks have been undertaken. We do not suspend it. Moreover, we urged all to do so. Responsible persons must give reports on preparations to us. And one more point, we find health staff face some difficulties in some places depending on the political trend. Whatever it may be, we will deploy that personnel to suitable places if possible. Many health personnel will be assigned to places where the number of staff is lesser. Otherwise, we will arrange the deployment of medical doctors through the contract system. It will be implemented continuously. And, medical doctors from the Tatmadaw will also be deployed for assignment. It is impossible that all medical doctors cannot be assigned to military hospitals alone. Such a problem is a national concern. As it is a national cause, all medical doctors will be deployed for all. So, it is necessary to calculate the number of health staff as much as possible.”
Despite breaking out the COVID-19, manufacturing and factories should not be suspended. Other countries continue the operation of factories for the prevention of the disease. Workers are supervised to wear facemasks in line with the COVID-19 disciplines. Some 185 million people of 7,900 million of the global population were infected. As Myanmar is not involved on the list of high infected countries, it is necessary to take preventive measures without carelessness.
TV, radio, newspapers need to inform the people about restrictions of COVID-19. Meanwhile, it is necessary to focus on the down grading of the State economy. All people must work in concert for the prevention of the disease under disciplines for securing success. Those present at the meeting discussed sufficient supply of oxygen for the infected patients, staging campaign in the townships of stay at home programme to abide by COVID-19 rules, admission of infected patients at hospitals, the appointment of outsiders under daily wage for treatment, reduction of travels of people from respective townships, wards and villages, needs of people to wear facemasks, the performance of sharing health knowledge with the people, plan to urge religious sites and Correctional Department not to cause crowds, the priority of vaccinating the older persons and staff from factories, banks and private staff, operating of banks under COVID-19 rules, acceptance of patients at regiments and units, and distribution of oxygen by Tatmadaw plants.
In his concluding speech, the Senior General emphasized prevention of the disease as an important task.
Meanwhile, it is necessary to focus on the down grading of the State economy. All people must work in concert for the prevention of the disease under disciplines for securing success.
Regarding the prevention, control and treatment of the disease, the Senior General said: “Primarily, preventive measure is the most important. If the preventive measure cannot meet success, the treatment sector will be heavy. Preventive measure is the most important. I’d like to emphasize the priority on preventive measures will be better. So, the people should deeply abide by the prescribed disciplines. Moreover, we all need to do the tasks through cooperation and coordination. It is impossible to be disunity. It is important that we should emphasize health for every human. We must provide necessary treatment to anyone. Responsible persons should not deny it. With regard to human resources, we have medical corporals and medical sergeants as well as medical assistants. We can deploy them. At least, they have passed the third grade of medical courses. At least, they have the skill to inject vaccines into people. I immediately urged you for this measure because we would forget it. So, some people have attended similar courses. So, you must issue an announcement for it to urge them to join voluntary teams. The State needs to issue the announcement for those who have attended any health courses to contact nearby township administration bodies and hospitals. It will be more effective. A large number of volunteers would be recruited. Myanmar has a volunteer spirit. Our country is different from other countries because of having a social welfare spirit. Many people will come out to give a helping hand to others. So, we have to do so without fail. I’d like to emphasize undertakings of preventive measures and cooperation of the people with consciousness for overcoming the challenges of the disease.”
The Senior General continued to say that it is necessary to manage not the emergence of crowds on public days such as full moon day of Waso, Eid al-Adha Day and Martyr’s Day. No restriction is adopted for spending the fund on prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19. Relevant ministries need to effectively, correctly and quickly spend the fund in taking these measures of the disease. Arrangements have been made to operate oxygen plants and fulfil and produce liquid oxygen in full swing for the supply of oxygen to needy persons. Industrial oxygen plants can be used. Oxygen plants from Myanmar Economic Corporation will meet the oxygen demand. Regiments and units are ordered to accommodate the quarantined persons. If necessary, the Tatmadaw will use aeroplanes and helicopters for the transport of patients. As vaccines of China will arrive here in a few days, vaccination will be undertaken effectively. Only when the leading body knows correct information from the whole nation, will it take preventive measures with preparations. —MNA