Zero tolerance to those violating mandatory COVID-19 orders

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With the number of positive coronavirus cases reaching nearly 1,000 in the country yesterday, the Union Government has stepped up its fight against COVID-19 by warning that those who do not follow quarantine rules will face legal punishments. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Yangon Region reached over 400 yesterday and other parts of the country have seen several positive cases following a surge of infections in Rakhine. From 10 to 27 August, over 5,700 people had travel history to Rakhine State by air, and of them, some might have been infected with the coronavirus. The government has announced their names in the state-run newspapers.
Those who had travel history to Rakhine State after 10 August have put our country at high risk for the spread of COVID-19 infection. Hence, they are urged to contact the local health authorities. But, they did not follow the request and broke the law. Meanwhile, nightclubs were opened in Yangon in defiance of the law. Violations have included assaulting and stigmatizing health care workers, refusing to stay in or fleeing from quarantine centers, organizing gatherings and weddings or other defiance of the ban on gatherings and failing to follow nighttime curfews.
Choosing to ignore mandatory quarantine orders and community orders under the natural disaster management law is not only against the law but also putting citizens, first responders, health professionals and the most vulnerable at risk of exposure to the virus. We would like to send the message to all violators that the authorities will have a no-tolerance stance towards those who do not follow the mandatory orders amidst the COVID-19 crisis, and violators will face legal punishments. We cannot allow one person who we know has the coronavirus to refuse to protect his or her family members, friends and neighbours. This is about us, not about “I”. Quarantine is a must to keep the community safe.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has the power to strictly maintain COVID-19 mandatory orders. There would be no leniency towards all forms of foul play during COVID-19 preventive procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic is also a natural disaster, and those who do not comply with the law can face fines and even prison time under Section-2 (b) of the Natural Disaster Management Law. Collectively, everyone has a role to play to ensure compliance with COVID-19 mandatory orders including quarantine and physical distancing measures.

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