People are requested not to panic, but to remain calm and follow the advice from the health authorities on COVID-19: State Counsellor

State Counsellor delivers the televised speech on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Photo: MNA
State Counsellor delivers the televised speech on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Photo: MNA

The following is the full text of the televised speech of State Counsellor
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as Chairperson of the National-Level Central
Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), discussing the updated situation of the Coronavirus infection in Myanmar.

Citizens of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar,
I am presenting a report regarding the latest update about the Covid-19 disease for the information of the public.
Yesterday, we found two persons who tested positive for COVID-19. One of them was a man from Chin State who had returned from the United States, and another man was from Yangon who had returned from the UK. Both of them are being given medical treatment and we understand that they are “not in critical condition”.
We could estimate that there would be people with anxieties and fear as soon as news came out that two persons infected with COVID-19 have been found. I would like to make a plea to the public on behalf of our government, ‘don’t get into a panic’ about it, and follow the directives and announcements of the Ministry of Health and Sports and other government agencies regarding COVID-19 calmly and without any nervousness.
The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 can be controlled. Out of those infected by this disease the death rate is 4.4 per cent. Therefore, it is clear that it is a curable disease. Those who died from this disease were patients with chronic diseases, poor immune system or late treatment. So we wish
to suggest that those persons who are vulnerable to this disease need to take this matter seriously. What is most important is to get medical treatment early. As soon as a person gets symptoms, he should go to the nearest healthcare center immediately, without procrastination.
Just as in the saying “report early, know early, benefits everyone”, please inform the health centers what you need to tell them. At this time, all those who had contact with the two infected persons should report to the health center at the earliest. This is both for individual safety as well as the safety of the respective community. I heard that some residents in Tiddim Township are fleeing in panic out of grave concern. This type of behavior does not benefit anyone. In reality, if someone is infected with the virus, it will be carried in the body wherever this person goes. Please go to the health center in your village and get tested. Please get the necessary treatment.
Myanmar is welcoming back the influx of Myanmar nationals who were working in Thailand. They are advised to stay at home or a designated place in a responsible manner for home or facility quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of the disease. Those who have arrived back home should cooperate with a full sense of responsibility. Those who have arrived back in Myanmar should not go into hiding because of fear and concern. This is important. They should report their health conditions to the health centers by telephone whether they have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough and fatigue. Only then, could the respective health center provide free medical treatment. Those in 14-days home quarantine must follow the directives of the health departments without fail. By doing so, cases of infection could be detected immediately and early treatment could be given to them. It could also effectively prevent their family members and communities from becoming infected. By providing early treatments we can effectively reduce the death rate.
As soon as the news came out that two person infected with COVID-19 have been found, some people began buying foods, medicines and household items in panic. There is no likelihood that we will run out of stock. If you go into the crowd to buy these commodities, there is more likelihood that you will catch the disease. People are the key to prevent the spread of this virus; the ability of the people to remain calm plays a pivotal role.
I wish to inform that the government has no plans to shut down necessary public services, markets or commodity centres. It is also advised that only one person should go for buying, instead of going in groups and that only the quantity that is really needed should be bought.
Fake news are floating around that enterprises, factories, workshops will be closed; and that entry and exit points to townships and villages will be closed. Please do not get panicked by such news.
I hope you know the “Four wrongful paths”. A wrongful path is a path which is wrong. What pushes onto the wrongful path are: Intention, Hatred, Fear and Ignorance. It is important we should not be pushed onto the wrongful path with regard to the COVID-19 disease that other countries are facing.
Pushed on by Intention: do not participate in unlawful gatherings; hoarding of commodities and medicines and neglecting of healthcare instructions.
Pushed on by Hatred: do not spread false information and rumours which affects the peace and stability of communities.
Fear: Fear must not turn into panic buying and covering up symptoms of infection.
Ignorance: could result in negligence of official announcements and advice to prevent wrong doings.
I wish to request all of you not to follow the above mentioned “Four Wrongful paths”.
Don’t fall into the trap of intention. We can face against all the challenges with our hearts in close proximity despite social distancing.
Don’t bear hatred. Let us overcome all challenges with loving-kindness for each other.
Don’t get filled with fear. Let us meet our challenges by uniting the strength of the people and the strength of the nation.
Don’t be submerged in ignorance. Instead, people should study the official announcements; do not get onto false path by listening to rumours. We can overcome the Covid-19 problems with mindfulness, relentless effort and wisdom.
Based on responsibility, accountability and transparency which are the basic fundamentals needs of good governance, our government will release up-to-date information in real-time all information that the people need to know.
People are the key. Thank you.

(Translated by Aung Kin)

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