Shoppers and visitors become fewer due to Covid confirmed cases

30 March 2020

The Ministry of Health and Sports has confirmed 10 COVID-19 positive cases ; nine Myanmar nationals, one foreigner and  – who had returned from the United States ,United Kingdom ,Singapore and Switzerland ,announced tested positive on 23, 25 ,28  and 29 March.

According to the confirmed cases, major markets like Bogyoke (Scott) Market have witnessed the shoppers fewer than the other days and most of the shops in the markets have been closed amid concern over the virus. To prevent panic buying and over-purchasing, Myanmar‘s largest supermarket chain has imposed limitation on quotas-only 3 pieces of any single item per customer-on daily essentials including rice, noodles, cooking oil, dried food and canned goods. The pharmacy shops limited masks and drugs to prevent against over-purchasing.

Speaking to MI Radio about the situation they are facing in the market regarding the coronavirus, the shopper said, “I’m afraid of this COVID-19 as the news around the worldwide stated that there are many people who suffer from this COVID-19. What I am afraid of is masks and drugs. I would like to encourage the others to take care of their health nowadays like wearing the masks when they go out and when they have to use the public transport.”

 As a result of the confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered to quarantine the travelers arriving from foreign countries for 14 days at the governments’ facilities. Upcoming tour schedules are being cancelled starting February and almost all the tours from foreign and locals have been scrapped. Fewer tourists and visitors come to the several popular places in Yangon like Shwedagon Pagoda. 

One of the visitors who come to Shwedagon Pagoda speaking to MI Radio about her current feelings, she said, “I feel worried about the medical supplies technological assistance we need in our country, and how to prepare. There are a few visitors in the Shwedagon which is usually crowded. This is also a good prevention effort. Now I see every famous place paying attention to the protection wearing masks and washing hands. And all the people have to follow the rules and regulations that the government and the Ministry of Health and Sports released.’’

 As soon as the Ministry of Health and Sports announced the first confirmed cases on 23 March, all universities examinations across Myanmar were suspended by the Ministry of Education. Universities examinations started since 28 March and were scheduled to continue until April 1. All the universities students who come from the villages were sent back to their homes under the the management of the students’ unions from each university.

The student from National Management Degree College spoke to MI Radio about the postponement of the examination.

“Our school postponed the examination as soon as the COVID-19 positive was confirmed. This action is good and fast for our students to prevent the disease but on the other hand, some students feel unhappy with the examination for their grades. Universities postponed their exam but some have to take the examinations upcoming June or semester. During these days we have to take care of our health as possible as we can.”

 As the coronavirus outbreak is escalating in the world, Myanmar has closed borders and banned public gatherings and events including upcoming Thingyan festival. Cinemas have been closed, though bars and restaurants remain open.

According to news release on Covid-19 issued at 10:15 pm on 29 March by the Ministry of Health and Sports, the COVID-19 have infected more than 195 countries, with 722196 global positive lab tests, 33,976 deaths and 151,766 have recorvered.

The COVID-19 status in Myanmar as of 10:30 pm on 29 March showed that there are 275 suspected patients under quarantine. A total of 250 patients are tested negative for COVID-19 and 10 lab tests are positive still in progress, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.

Photo Credit - Ministry of Health and Sports