Stigmatization not helpful for prevention of spread of Coronavirus infection

Perspectives

Safeguarding public health is a priority. Since the Coronavirus spread beyond China, the health authorities of Myanmar have struggled to find the correct response to prevent the introduction of the deadly virus in Myanmar.
Those returnees and travellers from China who displayed high temperatures and fevers were quarantined for two weeks, and discharged after laboratory results confirmed they were free of the Coronavirus.
Health authorities have also beefed up surveillance at the border check-points, considering that a 1,300 mile long border with China is an important part to monitor for prevention of the Coronavirus infection, as travellers from both countries can cross the border through legal checkpoints, as well as illegal gates.
Meanwhile, the health authorities have distributed Coronavirus awareness pamphlets, written in Chinese, to hotels, guest houses and places where travellers from China often stay.
These efforts by health workers and local authorities have resulted in receiving information from the public about people who are suspected of having the Coronavirus infection, and health authorities quickly responded to this information and visited such people.
The real-time information released by the Ministry of Health and Sports on the Coronavirus has also been helpful for private and state media to relay information to the public and prevent the spreading of rumours.
Also, authorities have tightened rules for international travellers, as those who do not fill out the Health Declaration Card at the nation’s airports should not be allowed to enter Myanmar, since this information is very important for surveillance.
These efforts and achievements have shown that we have been carrying out the proper precautions to prevent the Coronavirus infection from spreading in Myanmar. The authorities are also doing the correct thing in tracking down and preventing false information and panic.
We do believe that our people have been made aware that the stigmatization of infected people is not helpful for combating the Coronavirus infection, and can cause unnecessary problems.
We should have knowledge about the Coronavirus infection, and we should not panic. We should be aware of those people who have recently traveled to China and had close contacts with people who have been quarantined.

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