As the Ministry of Health and Sports is relaxing COVID-19 restrictions step by step to ease the socio-economic life of the people, the governments of the regions and states are to take strict measures to control community transmission.
Though the rules are relaxed, the operation of the businesses will not be on the right track to recovery if people fail to abide by the mandatory rules and health guidelines.
We are annoyed over reports of crowds in parks, recreation areas, at markets and violations by people these days, especially in Yangon.
After the COVID-19 cases rose in recent weeks following crowds defying social distancing during their November-8 elections celebrations, the case numbers remain at an average of 1300 and over 20 deaths daily these days.
Many parts of the country saw crowds taking to the street to celebrate the election victory and they are now seeing increases in new cases.
Among the regions and states which are hit by the virus, Yangon Region which is a metropolitan city with a dense population, higher numbers of factories than other regions and public transportations, should have a different approach from other parts to control the transmission.
Yangon Region authorities are urged to have to resort to the carrot and stick approach as soon as possible with those people who have flouted mandatory rules such as wearing masks and gathering without maintaining social distancing.
Yangon has suffered the highest death tolls, positive cases and heaviest economic blows from the pandemic.
Under the current rules, people would be required to stay at home unless their workplaces, such as factories or construction sites, need them.
One person from each family can go outside for a few other reasons, like buying food or seeking medical attention. But nonessential shops would be closed, people are urged not to travel, and restaurants would only be allowed to serve takeout food.
Legal action has been initiated against those who do not abide by orders and do not comply with mandatory quarantine regulations.
The measures to control community transmission in Yangon Region might be draconian, but they are necessary. It is worth noting that the coronavirus will be with us for some time.
What Yangon Region needs is to work out a strategy urgently – “stitch in time to save nine,”.
We need to act it now as we fear that the infection rate will rise after increases in the number of gatherings during Christmas and the New Year celebrations.