State Counsellor reports on measures against COVID-19 crisis

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Last week, there was a slight increase in COVID-19 infections among the people. This is of course, as we have expected. For the coming one or two weeks, I think it will be like this. However, I believe that we will be able to contain the infection spread. That’s why I want all of you to abide by the rules and regulations. The Ministry of Health and Sports have been saying this repeatedly. Please wear masks and face shields as much as possible. Please stay home if possible, especially in the coming one or two weeks. We are working hard to relax the restrictions.
I want to relax the restrictions as we are able to contain the situation to a certain degree. This is because we wish to relieve the stress being experienced by the people. Another thing is for businesses to resume operations again. Just as I mentioned last week we intend to broadcast TV programmes designed to educate the people about business and certain small business projects that they could start; we will show how these projects could be done. The programmes will begin this week. There will be one programme on Wednesday and one programme on Thursday. The one on Wednesday will be educational. The one on Thursday will be partly educational and about how things are being done and also how they could be done.
As I explain to you about these programmes, there is one thing I want to request all of you. That is, I want you to read newspapers if possible; especially government newspapers. This is not because I wish to sell newspapers. If we can increase the sales, that is good. The reason why I am saying this is because some of the people do not get to read the announcements and notifications issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports and other government departments thoroughly. I mean in detail and with real focus. I have noticed that these people do not know what these notifications intend to say. Is this because when they read on the phones they have not read the entire notification; or did they miss the TV broadcasts. I don’t know. I have noticed that some people do not understand thoroughly the rules and regulations as well as the advice given in these notifications.
So, when you read the newspapers, all the notifications are in the newspapers. I want you to read the newspapers because they contain all the official notifications, all the orders issued by various departments and then special notifications relating to health. Also, the instructions are issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports. Some people may think that these things can be read on phones or from Facebook. However, sometimes what you can see there may not be complete so reading newspapers is much easier on the eyes. That’s why I want you all to read newspapers.
Another reason I want you to read newspapers is that lately, a great number of articles and news items about the Centenary Celebrations of Yangon University have appeared in the newspapers. I mean in the government newspapers. Some other journals might also contain similar articles. Also, a while ago, there were articles about 100 years of the Film Industry. These articles are very interesting and give you much of general knowledge. At this time during the COVID period when you cannot go out of the house, by reading articles like, this you can learn a lot about Myanmar history. 100 years of the Film Industry is not only about movies. It contains information about the fine arts of our country. It also contains interviews of our great performers and artists as well as articles about them. The same about Yangon University; some people might say I am not interested because I have never studied at Yangon University. Don’t think like this. It is not only about Yangon University. When you read these articles, you can learn a lot about the education system of our country and the history of education. Now you have the time to read articles like this when you have to stay at home.
Another thing is that it is also important to know about the history of our own country. The future requirements of a country would be understood better only if we know the history of a country. A wide range of advantages and disadvantages of the country could be known by learning its history. Weakness in teaching would be a reason. Some people are not interested in history as it is regarded as a subject to be learnt by heart. They could see only historic records on years of incidents and the reigns of kings. That is how they view it. This is not true. History is concerned not only with our country but also the world and mankind. History tells us how human beings overcame various challenges and how cultures changed in successive times to be able to compare the differences between the present and the past. We can get ideas and philosophies from history how to build our best future. Therefore, I want to make a suggestion to read government newspapers as much as possible. These papers are not expensive. I am not urging you to support the Ministry of Information. However, giving support when the situation warrants it is not a wrong thing to do.
I have also said that we will relax restrictions as much as possible as the situation begins to improve. The plans can be read in the newspapers. Regarding the economic situation, not economic analysis but news about development projects of respective regions and states in the economic sector can be read in the newspapers. In addition to gaining general knowledge, you can learn about the economic situations, requirements and opportunities of the country in the newspapers.
Although the updated reports on COVID-19 diseases can be viewed on smartphones; you can also read these reports in the newspapers. Paper newspapers are easier on the eyes. The confirmed cases and the death toll can be found in the newspapers. The global situations of COVID-19, rules and regulations and economic impacts can be seen in the newspapers which are reporting that the rate of the pandemic has not dropped yet in the world, and these countries are trying to find ways on how to handle the increasing rate day by day.
Moreover, reports and conclusions of the World Health Organization, other research organizations and experts can be read in the newspapers. These reports remind us to be vigilant against the threat of COVID-19. At the same time, we do not need to get upset about it. If we compare our situation with that of other countries, I believe our country has been able to put the disease under control to a certain degree. The main reason for being able to do this is because of people’s participation. The truth remains unchanged. The disease could not be controlled without public participation. I think the disease could not be controlled due to the lack of public participation in some countries. I don’t want to comment on their situations and their systems. However, I conclude that our country can control the disease thanks to our people. Actually, some countries have better control measures against the pandemic. We need to see this. It has shown that we can do better than our present situations. As mentioned above, there are certain restrictions which we can relax. This is because of economic reasons as well as to relieve the stress of our people. We will do our best to improve the situation as soon as possible to create more opportunities for work in the transport sector and to conduct business.
Another thing is that our Union Government will make regular reports to the people on special plans for Christmas and New Year soon. The rate of infection spread of COVID-19 is increasing in other cities, mainly in Yangon and Mandalay with high population densities. It has become cooler in Nay Pyi Taw. The lower temperature seems to have increased the rate of infection. Therefore, I would like to request people who live in cold climates, especially elderly persons and those with underlying diseases to be vigilant. All of you, please try to be in good health and good spirits.—MNA (Translated by Kyaw Myaing and Aung Khin)

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