dd Myanmar seals off capital amid virus surge

Myanmar seals off capital amid virus surge

Published: 03 Sep 2020 Updated: 04 Sep 2020   

Online Desk

Myanmar has imposed mandatory quarantine and coronavirus tests for visitors to its capital city after the country reported dozens more infections on Wednesday and leader Aung San Suu Kyi warned of a "disaster for the country".

Anyone entering the capital, Naypyitaw, where the government is based, will be quarantined, tested, and allowed entry only if their result is negative, according to a government order published on Facebook, reports Reuters.

People coming from the country's worst-hit areas will be quarantined in a facility for at least seven days, said the order by the Naypyitaw Council, while others will be allowed to leave earlier if they test negative.

Myanmar reported its first local transmission in a month in mid-August in the restive western Rakhine state. Since then, the number of cases has roughly doubled to 1,059 infections and six deaths, according to government data.

The majority of the cases and deaths have been in Rakhine, where government troops are fighting ethnic insurgents and authorities have imposed sweeping curbs on internet access.

Most recent infections have been in that state's capital, Sittwe, where officials have imposed a stay-at-home order and a curfew.

Sittwe is also home to camps where about 100,000 Rohingya Muslims have been confined since an outbreak of violence in 2012. Rohingya are mostly denied citizenship and face strict curbs on freedom of movement and access to healthcare.

But infections have been found across the country including in the biggest city, Yangon. Authorities imposed a partial lockdown in parts of Yangon on Tuesday, ordering residents of the worst-hit townships to stay at home other than for essential journeys. Bars and nightclubs have been closed.

Suu Kyi said those who disobeyed instructions would face punishment under the Natural Disaster Law, which carries prison terms of up to a year.

"More strict action will be taken under the Natural Disaster Law. This is a disaster for the country," she said in a video broadcast on Wednesday.

"If the pandemic spreads widely in Yangon, it will be very difficult to provide medical treatment to the people," she said.

Doctors say they fear a major outbreak in the country, which has a health system ranked among the world’s worst after decades of neglect under military rule. Many services are run by volunteers and aid groups.

CU to hold admission test offline

CU to hold admission test offline

First year admission test of Chittagong University (CU) for 2020-21 ...

Mask-wearing is a state order: Cabinet

Mask-wearing is a state order: Cabinet

A cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the ...

Climate vulnerability, Covid 19 and steps towards SDG implementation

Climate vulnerability, Covid 19 and steps towards SDG implementation

We had only 112 baseline dada available out of 244 ...

Global coronavirus: Confirmed cases surpass 42.5 million

Global coronavirus: Confirmed cases surpass 42.5 million

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc worldwide, the number of ...

Shun unethical journalism: PM to journalists

Shun unethical journalism: PM to journalists

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged journalists to write ...

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee dies

Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee dies

Chairman of South Korea's technological giant Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, ...

Suicide bombing kills 24 in Kabul

Suicide bombing kills 24 in Kabul

A suicide bombing at an education centre in Afghanistan's capital ...

12 new dengue cases reported

12 new dengue cases reported

Twelve new dengue cases were reported in the last 24 ...