State Counsellor reports latest situation on COVID-19

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

I think by now our people know quite a lot about the COVID-19 disease. They know quite a lot about the basic facts. I want to remind you again that it is important to how to live based on these facts.
When we look at it, although we may say that the Second Wave originated in Sittway, the biggest infection spread occurred in the Yangon region. However, recently, during the past few days, during the past week, we could see that the Yangon region was able to contain the disease to a certain extent. I am not saying that we have achieved total containment. There was containment to a certain extent. This is because we have been able to use test kits which made it possible for us to test quickly. Another thing is that I think people have been more careful.
However, we have noticed that there have been more infection spreads in other regions and states such as Mon state, Bago region, and Ayeyawady region. That is why we need to be careful everywhere. Please don’t let off your guard because you know there is danger in Yangon only. The infection can spread to your state or your region. I want you to be aware that the infection can come at any time. The infection can spread to 100 people from one positive person. Especially if the disease is not detected at an early stage, it could spread to 20 other persons who had been in contact with this person. From these 20 people, if the infection spread from each of these 20 persons, it could spread to about 100. We cannot say that it might not exceed 100. That is why I wish to remind all of you that there is no such thing as being too careful and vigilant.
From the perspective of the Union Government, this COVID-19 disease has been with us for quite some time; especially the second wave we have noticed that our people have had to struggle quite a lot for their livelihoods. For this situation, our Union Government will see how much we can do and how we need to provide assistance. We will be thinking about this all the time and provide necessary assistance as much as possible, and we are providing assistance right now. Therefore I want the people to be patient because they would have to confront difficulties. It is not going to be a normal life as before. We have not forgotten our people. We have not neglected them. However, we would be able to overcome these problems quickly with the cooperation of the people. Problems have to be confronted. We will have to confront either this problem or that problem. I wish to say this is the law of nature. The main thing is to be able to solve this problem in the correct manner.
When we present the COVID-19 problem to our people, I think the first requirement is to be truthful. We need to talk about the faults as they truly are in a truthful manner. Only then will our people be able to figure out how to behave and how to confront the disease. However, I do not wish our people to be addressed in a threatening manner. I do not wish to do like this. Why, because if someone is over-anxious, it is not good for anyone. On the one hand, I want our people to be able to confront this disease with good morale; on the other hand, I want the people to understand the dangers fully.
What can happen is that you are careless; we try to understand to what extent the problem can become bigger. We study carefully. We are trying our best on many fronts. We have been presenting question and answer sessions with specialist doctors and veteran physicians so that the people will know matters related to their health, things they need to know and things they wish to know. On the one hand, the reason we have been presenting sessions about patients who have recovered from the disease is that in case a person gets infected, then this person will understand how to overcome this problem and how to survive this situation. We want our people to know first-hand from these patients. Things are not going to be the same from one person to the other. That is why everyone will have their own viewpoint, their own personality. You need to overcome the challenges with the capabilities that you have. Sometimes, you can take an example from the experiences of other; you need to think about this. This person had this kind of experience; I need to avoid this kind of experience. I need to overcome this problem in this way. You need to take a lesson from the experience of the other person. You can overcome the challenge just like the other person. That is why we have arranged these discussion sessions. That is why I want you all to listen to these programmes if you can and have the time. I want you to listen to those who have recovered from the COVID disease and matters related to health education.
Like COVID-19, another unavoidable challenge that must be overcome is to complete the general elections successfully. In this regard, I also appreciate active voting of Myanmar citizens abroad because they are always considering the interests of their country and people with national spirit although they are living overseas. It is an encouragement for us. The advance voting in abroad is about to be complete at present, and it is expected I would describe the number of advance voters abroad during my report to the public on coming Friday.
It is pleased for us that I received a letter from a Myanmar citizen in the UAE today. There is no Myanmar mission in the UAE. Those who are working in the UAE want to cast their advance votes for the general elections. However, it is inconvenient for them to come to Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, where the nearest Myanmar embassy is located from them. As they asked for the arrangement of advance voting in the UAE, the Ministry of International Cooperation successfully implemented it.
Myanmar embassy’s staff members in Riyadh from Saudi Arabia could set up a poll booth at a hotel in the UAE, where our citizens actively cast their advance votes. It was proud of our country of their affection for and their responsiveness to the country. It also appreciates of the civil service staff. They are the staff members in Riyadh from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The advance voting there was successful due to their genuine desire for it. It is a good lesson for us. I have frequently talked that sufficient desire, endeavour, spirit and wisdom are the four key factors for success.
The challenging COVID-19 crisis would be overcome by these factors, so also in the General Election.
In conclusion, we have frequently discussed that when we could receive the vaccine for COVID-19. There is no answer until now. Many believe it is possible at the end of this year or early next year. However, there is no guarantee of a hundred per cent sure until the vaccine could not be developed. It was learnt that some countries have suspended their researches on this vaccine. It is not required to worry about it.
Different countries have different rules and laws for vaccine research, so also in their political and social situations. Therefore, it does not mean that they have stopped the project as they have suspended it at a certain stage. Capable business firms and governments are emphasizing the production of this vaccine. Therefore, people need to rely on themselves until this vaccine has been developed. Self-dependence is also required after the vaccine has been received. After all, everybody needs to rely on oneself. However, self-dependence for the nationwide aspect means the reliance on each other among the nationals. It is a necessity for the country and is the unity with interdependence and mutual trust among the nationals. It is advised that unity plays the key role to overcome any challenges for the people. Therefore, all need to live for health and well-being and live for active participation in the General Election. The government is also making a plan for people to be able to cast their votes healthily.
May all people be healthy and well-being. (Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)

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