State Counsellor reports on status of COVID-19 infection spread in the country

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I want to report to the people about COVID-19 disease. As of today, there are now 3,299 persons who have been confirmed positive by the labs. There have been 33 persons who have passed away. The majority of persons who have passed away are those who have underlying diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and kidney problems. I am reporting these things to the people not to give them excess worries. I also have no intention to blame anyone. The only thing is for all of us to cooperate and overcome this challenge. We were quite worried about Rakhine State last month. At this moment we could say that the situation is under control to a certain degree. This was possible because there was cooperation. When I say cooperation I mean cooperation between the Union Government and the state government, cooperation between the state government and the people; if everyone cooperated and followed the rules and regulations, there is no reason for us to worry about. What has happened has happened. There is no use to be remorseful about this.
All people know that Yangon has the most infection cases. This is because Yangon has the highest population density. People move about a lot. It has the highest number of people coming in and going out. By this, I mean both internal and external travel. So I have to say that there have been some weaknesses in following the rules and regulations. We have to face the events as they are. If all of us followed the rules and regulations strictly beginning from now with full cooperation, we would be able to contain the situation in Yangon in the near future. At the moment, infections spreading from one person to the other is more prevalent within family members. I want you all to take note of this with care.
Among those who passed away, the majority are elderly persons with underlying diseases. Young people sometimes do not show symptoms because they have good immunity. About 70 per cent of infected people do not show symptoms of the disease. This, in itself, is a danger. When a person does not show symptoms, this person does not think he is infected. Family members can become infected by this person. Therefore there can be older adults in the family. There can be people with underlying diseases. That is why if one person becomes lax in following rules and regulations, this person could become a great danger to those around him. That is why I want each and everyone to be careful. Sometimes I wonder; what if every person taking care of their health; by this, I mean all those who are old enough to think for themselves; I don’t mean the small children.
If everyone who is old enough to think taking care of only one thing, their health; that would be quite sufficient. If each person took care of their health; if they did not become infected, then there is no reason for infection to spread to another person. The rest of the problem can be taken care of by the Union government. Right now, our public service personnel have become quite weary and tired. They are mainly from the healthcare sector. However, I have not heard any complaints from them. We can imagine that they must be pretty tired. To a certain extent, there has been infection spread among healthcare workers as well as among other civil service personnel. One of our advantages is the fact that volunteers are helping and cooperating with us. Our people are really united when we pass through critical times. They provide help as much as possible. I want to thank them all for this help. I want to invite more people to volunteer. I wish to make a plea to volunteers and professionals to assist and cooperate in the efforts of our Union government. I want to say from here that we will surely succeed if everyone cooperated and joined in.
When I talk about our civil service personnel, I want to talk about Nay Pyi Taw. I understand there have been over 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the capital. There are numerous connections between Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. As Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital, people from different areas of the country have to come here, especially from Yangon. A lot of people from the diplomatic community, international community and business sectors travel in and out Nay Pyi Taw from Yangon. Therefore, it came as no surprise to all that the increasing number of cases in Yangon has certain impacts on Nay Pyi Taw. However, proper rules and guidelines have been adopted to avoid disturbance to the administrative machinery. For example, civil service personnel are grouped into twos. While the first group works from home for two consecutive weeks, the second group has to go to the office during this period. Duty rosters are made in rotation. If someone is infected from the COVID, the symptoms would be noticed in two weeks. I am sure our people know about this already.

I wish to make a plea to volunteers and professionals to assist and cooperate in the efforts of our Union government.

We have adopted proper and suitable rules and disciplines in this matter. People are required to abide by these rules strictly. This is not to impose restrictions, but for compliance with the directives. Serious concern about the spread of the disease has caused more stringent restrictions in some places, and it will not be useful in the long-term. If people could not withstand the increasing pressures, they would not tolerate keeping the discipline. However, it is important to know the rules and regulations which are published in the newspapers and broadcast on the television channels. Public awareness is being conducted all the time. The rules must be studied and followed strictly. It is important for the administrative sector. I am grateful to the civil service personnel for their efforts on the front-lines. People are advised to appreciate the efforts of civil service personnel. It is a good motivation for them. Mutual encouragement is required at present. Therefore, don’t be remorseful. Don’t put the blame for the spread of disease on others. After something has happened, the most important thing is to consider how to control the disease. The only thing I ask the people is to follow the rules and disciplines. We don’t ask people to do any additional things. I welcome contributions from well-wishers. Great thanks to them, and we really appreciate and value their contributions. As I have said earlier, if individuals follow the rules and disciplines, we don’t need to worry about this disease. Don’t worry too much about it. The spread of COVID-19 began in late August. People have noticed the transmission of this disease in early September, and have developed more awareness of the disease. Now it is the third week of September. If we could take control measures systematically, the fruitful results would come out within one or two weeks. No one likes to stay under the restrictions for a long time. However, systematic and careful cooperation from all of you is needed for us to be able to get out of these stressful restrictions.

People are advised to appreciate the efforts of civil service personnel. It is a good motivation for them.

The Union Government will provide all the possible assistance to the people. We will arrange for sufficient medical supplies. More medical treatment centres are being set up to cope with the increasing number of patients. More quarantine centres are being established, and the volunteers are contributing their services at these facilities. While some volunteers were infected by the disease, some other volunteers want to take a rest from these works as they got tired. I believe our people will provide offer assistance where needed. I would like to make a special appeal to this.
All in all, my report is to inform the people about the real situation. The people already know the real situation. This is just to remind the people to be cautious. This is just to remind them to be extra careful. If we can work together to overcome this crisis, we can clinch victories with great confidence and overcome any challenge facing our country. Therefore I urge the people to cooperate in COVID-19 control and containment measures, especially in Yangon with the spread of COVID infections. I want to request to the people to have absolute confidence and firm determination to overcome this challenge.
I pray for your good health and well-being! May all those, who are suffering from this illness, recover rapidly. (Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)

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