CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY
From 12 to 31 July, when cases of the deadly delta variant of COVID-19 surged nationwide, Myanmar imported 1,476 tonnes of liquid oxygen, 114 tonnes of oxygen cylinders, 69,146 tonnes of home oxygen concentrators, 322,878 test kits, 1,104 tonnes of masks, eight oxygen plants, 11 oxygen generators and four oxygen refilling machines.
Tatmadaw hospitals and temporary emergency hospitals were able to provide healthcare services to a total of 276,181 outpatients and 80,718 inpatients from 5 February to 31 July. In addition, the Tatmadaw medical corps helped out by providing services in public hospitals that had been undermined by a shortage of staff due to doctors and nurses leaving their patients to join the civil disobedience movement.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and the Ministry of Home Affairs coordinated with volunteers and charitable organizations to prevent and control the resurgence of disease in regions and states. The COVID-19 Control and Emergency Response Committee urged and mobilized the public to donate essential COVID-19 devices, medicines and foods directly to hospitals, quarantine centres and COVID-19 treatment centres in need.
All schools were closed from 9 to 23 July and later extended until 8 August, as the COVID-19 delta variant cases continued rising precipitously. In addition, the State Administration Council declared public holidays from 17 July to 1 August, in conjunction with public holidays, and enforced stay-at-home orders to control disease transmission. Officials from the relevant ministries are loosening regulations and striving to make sure that imports of essential medical supplies go smoothly even on public holidays, at airports, seaports and border trade towns such as Myawady, Tachileik and Chinshwehaw.
To meet the needs for medical oxygen, two oxygen plants under the Myanmar Economic Corporation have been producing 149,000 cubic feet of oxygen each day, while Myaung Tagar oxygen plant has been producing 12,000 cubic feet of oxygen each day. As well, the 1,000-bed hospital, 300-bed hospital and 300-bed Tatmadaw Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Children’s Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw have been installed oxygen plants.
Since 13 July, the Ministry of Health has been strengthening the healthcare system through the recruitment of nurses and doctors on a contract basis in hospitals and COVID-19 treatment centres. COVID-19 call centres have been set up to receive calls from the public from 8 am to 9 pm every day. The government has licensed reputable private hospitals and laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostics so that the public will have a wider range of options.
The National Strategic Investment Corporation (NSIC) bought a shipment of 30,000 Remdesivir, a drug used for the treatment of COVID-19 worth K3 billion from India and donated them to the people of Myanmar through the State Administration Council. The shipment arrived on 20 July. Additionally, in July, Myanmar received a total of three million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, comprising two million doses of Sinopharm donated by the People’s Republic of China and one million doses of Sinovac purchased by Myanmar. Since 26 July, vaccines were administered to priority groups, including senior citizens, frontline health workers, monks and prison inmates.
Public information and media developments
The following announcement is placed regularly in national newspapers.
With the exception of those who had committed murder and deliberate destruction, citizens in hiding or on the run or are stranded in other places for various reasons are invited by the State Administration Council to return home. In return, the authorities will exercise leniency, including the dropping of charges and the closure and withdrawal of their cases under the law.
The State Administration Council’s Information Team held its seventh press conference on 12 July 2021. Head of the Information Team Major-General Zaw Min Tun and Member of the Union Election Commission U Khin Maung Oo responded to the questions raised by the media on the points presented, such as the COVID-19 control plans, the testimony of criminals arrested for the terrorist attacks and the latest findings of the Union Election Commission. Also in July, numerous media inquiries to the press release team were continually answered by telephone to ensure accurate information for the public.
Snapshots of other sectors
Events of note in July were as follows:
On 13 July, the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee held its Eighth Plenary Meeting, which was attended by 47 State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee members in Yangon, who discussed religious affairs.
The Myanmar Women’s Day event was held on 3 July, and the State Administration Council Chairman sent a video message to the event urging all to work together to empower Myanmar women to secure the future of new generations.
On 19 July, the 74th Martyrs Day Ceremony was held and attended by military and departmental officials, to pay tribute to the fallen martyrs including General Aung San. The ceremony was held in accordance with COVID-19 regulations.
Officials from Myanmar and Laos discussed the repatriation of Myanmar migrant workers stranded in Laos and agreed on their repatriation on July 30 and August 1.
The 99th International Cooperative Day was celebrated on 3 July. There are a total of about 40,000 cooperative societies comprising 4.2 million members. Plans are underway to reform, improve and modernize the production, trading, and service industries.
The Union Minister for Science and Technology inspected the Research and Innovation Department in Yangon on 6 July, and spoke about the need for enhancing research activities, and promoting technology transfer and cooperation related to renewable energy.
It was announced that previously unregistered motorcycles must register within 30 days starting from 7 July under the One-Stop Services plan. The measure is expected to reduce crimes committed by motorcycle riders and improve transportation and safety for the law-abiding public.
Displaced persons in the respective regions and states are being provided with household census and citizenship by the Pan Khin project.
In the industrial sector, a USD 5 million investment in garment manufacturing based on the CMP (Cutting, Making, and Packing) system was launched on 7 July. This is expected to create more than 800 local jobs. In addition, the Yangon Region Investment Committee has given its decision on submissions of 14 companies.
Myanma Insurance has made it possible to pay online for various types of insurance since 8 July.
The Internal Revenue Department is also providing online services for the quarterly commercial tax return and quarterly special commodity tax.
A workshop on rehabilitation of the industrial sector was held at the Ministry of Industry on 9 July to identify ways to reform the operations of suspended state-owned factories.
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is coordinating plans for tourism development, and licensing and management issues, with a view to promoting safe travelling in the “new normal” situation.
Efforts are being made to expand the use of high-quality agricultural equipment and to promote agro-technology.
During the third wave of COVID-19 in the country, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is undertaking public transportation services via rail, air and road in accordance with the health guidelines.
The rainy season has triggered floods and assistance is being provided to flood victims in the affected regions. People are urged to contact the Disaster Management Department in various areas to seek assistance.
Overall, the sixth month of the State Administration Council has centred on efforts to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. Despite the many challenges, the State Administration Council is continuing to work hard to control the pandemic while promoting measures to ensure stability and security and accelerate the country’s return to normalcy as soon as possible. Clearly, these efforts are being undertaken in the best interests of the people.