State Counsellor reports on measures against COVID-19 to public

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

If I am to talk about the latest situation of COVID-19, Yangon region should be extremely careful. I have said this before. I wish to say this again. The reason is that out of the total positive cases, 74 per cent are from the Yangon region. Furthermore, out of all deaths, 92.7 per cent are from the Yangon region. That is why we are repeating again and again that Yangon region should be extremely vigilant.
We can accept the fact that infection rates are high in the Yangon region because of the population density and the frequency and volume of travel. However, the willingness of the people to abide by the rules and regulations is also an important factor. The more people follow the rules and regulations, the better; then, the situation will be good. For example, in the Mandalay region, the infection rate increased a little bit compared to last month. However, due to the participation of the people, during the past 14 days, the situation became better. We could say that the situation is under control. That is why in every region and state, we will need to make concerted efforts to contain the spread of the disease with the leadership of the respective governments and the participation of the people. I am sure people who are monitoring the news already know about this.
At this time, some countries have already begun using vaccines. That is to say that in some countries, they have declared that they will begin using vaccines on a large scale beginning this week. Some have already started using vaccines on a trial basis. Therefore, in our country, we have made plans to use the vaccines as soon as the situation is favourable as quickly as possible, once we get the vaccines. However, for the people to benefit fully from the effects of the vaccine, they need to be extremely careful at this moment. The reason why we have to say this is because I am feeling anxious that some might become careless thinking that the vaccines would soon be available. People should not become careless like this.
Firstly, healthcare workers and professionals have repeatedly been reminding. They say that it is impossible to predict the effects of COVID-19 in the future. What I wish to say is this – can a person become infected if this person had already been tested positive before? Whatever the case may be, no one can say for sure in detail the impacts on health after being tested positive. The majority of the doctors know about this already. Some of the people might already know about this. The injuries of youth can emerge as one gets older. For example, an injury that occurred during childhood which looked quite insignificant could cause a great deal of pain in old age; it could cause problems in your ability to move about.
That is why, if a person’s physical well-being has been harmed due to some slight mishap, you can never say what kind of effects can occur at any time in the future. That is the first point. If you live in a carefree manner at this time saying that vaccines would soon be available, don’t think that it does not matter if you get infected. It is important. It is very important for your future health. It is very important for those around you.
One more thing is what I said last week. Economic recovery is very important for our country because we will have to compete with other countries to achieve economic recovery. We have to do this. All the countries of the world are doing this. In this regard, we need full work capacity for the competition. It is very important for our people to be able to compete with full capacity in this competition. Therefore at this time, stay healthy, be tolerant, maintain discipline, protect yourself from the disease and don’t cause disease transmission. Just like I said last week, the more the infection spreads, the more state revenues we need to spend. Therefore we will have less financial resources for economic recovery. If we spend more on one side, we will have less on the other side. This is something all of you can understand easily. Therefore, we hope to end the COVID fight successfully; we do not wish to end in a state of disorder and chaos.
Therefore, people require increased vigilance. Try to live healthily, and you should be able to control your desires. In the end that is the crux of the matter. Containing COVID-19 means all the people individually exercising self-control. Our Union government, the State will make plans to make the vaccines available to the people and have them vaccinated.
We will also strive hard for the resumption of businesses, economic recovery and more economic development than in the past. We will try to seek COVID-19 related opportunities which we could not get in the past. However, we need to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way effectively without missing these opportunities.
Therefore, I want to urge all the people to join hands and participate. Mandalay Region is a good example. If the people join in and participate, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. That is why I want all of you to strive hard. With regard to public awareness campaigns about health, I think the people know already that we have been saying again and again; please wear masks all the time. Please wash your hands thoroughly in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Sports. Also, please stay 6-ft apart from each other. Please don’t go outside unnecessarily. Especially at this time, please don’t go outside. At this time when New Year is approaching, and Christmas is approaching, don’t say to yourself “I’m going to have a nice party” and have yourself a celebration. Just because you want to celebrate this time, I don’t want your future to be affected in a bad way. A loss for the people is a loss for the country. Therefore, at this time, I want you all to be extremely vigilant. Try to control yourselves.
We are also working with special focus to create job opportunities. We are making these plans right now. However, I am sure our people know that you need to be healthy to be able to work. Therefore as we create employment opportunities, I don’t want you to be sent to the end of the line because of your health just as the job becomes available. Then you will suffer, your family will suffer, and the country will suffer. With regard to COVID-19, we have developed not only health programmes but also education programmes; the majority of the people know this already. Therefore I want you all to watch these programmes with focused attention and follow them; listen to them. You need to be ready. What can be done, what are the opportunities? You need to think of new innovative ways to achieve development; you need to ponder on these things. I want all of you to listen to our health and business programmes with focused attention. Furthermore, I want you to study on your own.
The most important thing is to live healthily. Therefore, rules and disciplines must be followed seriously. Although the four-fundamentals for success start with intention, it is needed to have the intention, determined effort, strong will and wisdom. The intention will be supported by determined effort and strong will, while wisdom will show you how to apply physical and mental strengths in the most effective manner. Therefore, I send these good wishes with Metta for all of our people to be able to overcome COVID-19 expeditiously by practising the four-fundamentals for success. Thank you.—MNA (Translated by Kyaw Myaing and Aung Khin)

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