Vice President U Henry Van Thio chairs disaster management committee meeting through video conferencing

Vice President U Henry Van Thio holds a video conference of the National Disaster Management Committee yesterday. Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio holds a video conference of the National Disaster Management Committee yesterday. Photo: MNA

Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as the Chairman of National Disaster Management Committee, presided over its first meeting for this year through video conferencing at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday afternoon.
At the meeting, the Vice President said that the biannual meetings of his committee took preparatory measures on the possible disasters; preparations for disaster managements in monsoon, and control of risks and dangers from the results of higher climatic temperatures amid the outbreak of COVID-19.
He also said the first discovery of COVID-19 in Wunhan city of China on 31 December 2019, the first death from this disease on 11 January 2020, the first case outside China (in Thailand) on 13 January and the declaration of WHO on this disease as the Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and the numbers of cases and death toll across the world have reached over 5 million and 330,000 dead up to 22 May 2020.
Myanmar has formed a National-level Central Committee to Prevent, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 on 13 March 2020 led by the State Counsellor, and the control and emergency response committee led by the Vice President U Myint Swe on 30 March 2020, in coordination with the relevant ministries, local governments and INGOs.
The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Myanmar on 23 March 2020. The figures of Ministry of Health and Sports have showed 199 positive cases, 108 recoveries and 6 deaths as of 21 May 2020.
Social distancing was being exercised by avoiding mass gathering, holding meetings on video conferencing, 3 to 6 ft distance among every person was required and face masks and hand gel were being used at event which were necessary.
The Vice President also advised his committee to carry out preparatory measures for strong winds, floods, landslides and thunderbolts, while the country was facing the dangers of drought, fire and strong winds, causing some losses in agriculture, livestock and health sectors.
He said the outbreak of COVID-19 has added more problems in the socioeconomic sector, and that the committee needed to take part in COVID-19 measures.
The Vice President continued to say that the awareness programmes of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement must include dissemination of knowledge about natural disasters.
The ministry was also providing healthcare items, such as reusable masks, basins, soaps, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and lime powder bags.
He also recommended the local governments to adopt plans for natural disasters and emergency response plans in their regions in accordance with the National-level Central Committee to Prevent, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 and the emergency response committees in working together with the relevant ministries.
The world was encountering global warming, environmental degradation and climatic changes amid the spread of COVID-19 and conflicts, and that plans must be made not only for regular events but also for future events based on time and circumstance.
He finally called for the suggestions of participants at the teleconference about their preparations for prevention of COVID-19 and natural disasters during the monsoon.
Union Minister for Home Affairs Lt-Gen Soe Htut and Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye, who are the vice-chairmen of committee, discussed rescue plans, readiness of relief aid, and effective supports to the disaster affected people in line with rules for COVID-19.
Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, the secretary of committee, reported on the progress in implementation of resolutions made at meeting number 2/2019 of the committee.
The Union Ministers who are the chairmen of work committees also briefed on emergency measures, coordination with foreign countries, systematic management on funds, awareness programmes, release of information and management in natural disaster.
The other Union Ministers who are the members of committee, the Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council, and local Region/State chief ministers presented their discussions about rescue and relief plans during the video conference.
The deputy ministers, officials and U Chit Kyaw, secretary of the advisory board in the disaster management committee, presented action plans.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio gave advice and comments to ensure coordination after which the meeting came to a close.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)

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