Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe holds meeting on COVID-19 control measures in Rakhine State

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Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe holds meeting on COVID-19 control measures with health officials of Rakhine State and other regions and states on 28 August 2020. Photo: MNA

Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe held meeting on COVID-19 control measures with health officials of Rakhine State and other regions and states via video conferencing yesterday morning. During the meeting, the Union Minister said that Rakhine State has reported a total of 216 COVID-19 cases from 16 August to 28 August morning, while 6 cases from other regions and states had travel history to Sittway.
The virus spread rapidly in recent days and the ministry will also make efforts to control the disease in order to slow down it soon. The sudden increase in the numbers of case is that the infected persons made some trips without knowing that they have been infected.
According to the initial examination of Medical Research Department, the 9 lab tests of Rakhine State shows the gene of COVID-19 is mutated. The 79 per cent of COVID-19 patients diagnosed after 16 August in Rakhine did not show any symptoms and so the people need to be aware of their surroundings and should follow the health guidelines in avoiding mass gatherings, staying at home, wearing mask and face shields and washing the hands for 20 seconds frequently and to inform the authority if they found some returnees from Rakhine State. If so, it helps reduce the spread of virus. The relevant departments should raise public health awareness by using loudspeakers at least five-time a day in the townships and more than 5,700 people arrived in other regions and states by air from Rakhine State and some of them are infected with COVID-19. Therefore, all those with recent travel history to Rakhine State after 10 August must inform to the nearest health department. The ministry will speed up the control measures to prevent the spread of infection from one person to another across the country and only the timely-response can stop the spread of disease in Rakhine State. The preventive and control measures for Rakhine State will be different from other regions and states as the ministry has adopted new strategy and procedures in accordance with the changing situations by studying the nature of epidemic.
The currently practicing directives and procedures will be updated in line with the new findings on COVID-19 and way of infection and they should be timely informed to respective departments. It also needs to take into account that the fact of human resources, time, budget and equipment in carrying out the control measures of COVID-19 in Rakhine State. Those with travel history to Rakhine State can be seen in other regions and states and so the relevant officials need to supervise the factories and industries with the large numbers of employees. The ministry will also provide the requirements for those who had close contact with infected person while tracing them and also raising public health awareness at IDP camps and reception centres.
The cooperation work of General Administration Department and development committees plays key role to prohibit people without wearing masks from entering the markets or from taking buses during this period. The ministry accelerates its activities in conducting COVID-19 lab tests and buys the required medical equipment in advance and the GeneXpert machines were installed in Sittway, Kyaukpyu, Thandwe, MraukU and Maungtaw townships. It will also provide beds and ventilators to Sittway General Hospital and the nurse training schools. Traditional medicine hospitals are currently used as temporary hospitals for patients in Sittway. The Union Minister also said words of thanks for the concerted efforts of ministerial staff, voluntary medical staff, organizations and the people and urged the attendees to give suggestions regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Head of the Rakhine State Public Health and Medical Services Department Dr Soe Win Zaw Hlaing explained the current COVID-19 outbreak in the State, protection and control activities, swab tests from Sittway and Kyauktaw are being sent to the National Health Laboratory, strengthening hospital infection prevention and control in hospitals, using nursing training school and traditional hospital as temporary healthcare centres, analyzing the form of the disease infection by randomly selecting groups and locations in high-risk infections. Director Dr Nyan Win Myint , the leader of central field survey team, explained the epidemiological findings from the visits to healthcare centres and temporary camps, protection and control activities and the difficulties in searching contact persons of the patient.
Deputy Director General of Yangon Region Public Health and Medical Services Department Dr Tun Myint discussed the difficulties in field survey of laboratory samples in Yangon, social distancing, and cooperating with the relevant organizations and departments in searching contact persons. Deputy Director-General of the Central epidemiology Unit Dr Tun Tin explained the current outbreak and epidemiological analysis.
Director Dr Toe Thiri Aung discussed the analysis of the COVID-19 patients in Myanmar. Deputy Director-General for Medical Services Dr Thidar Hla presented the treatment of the COVID-19 patients at various hospitals and that a total of 216 COVID-19 patients found in Rakhine State since August 26 were in good health and 16 of them were elderly and had other allergies. The attendees participated in the discussion and gave suggestions accordingly. The Union Minister concluded the meeting by saying that the specific assignment will be given as many organizations carry out in control measures of COVID-19 in Rakhine State under multiple sectors and timely performance will be also conducted.—MNA (Translated by Khine Thazin Han and Ei Phyu Pyu Aung)

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