THE daily central-level meeting (18/2019) on surveillance and containment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) was held at the Ministry of Health and Sports in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
Firstly, Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe said Myanmar shares an extensive border with China and the spread of the virus has yet to stabilize there. He said medical information on COVID-2019 must be continually shared in Myanmar and Chinese languages at the border regions. He said the leadership of state/ regional health department leaders is crucial in this stage and medical staff are actively assisting as well.
The Union Minister said the border check points require constant surveillance and the five hospitals near the border with China are receiving regular supplies of medical equipment. He said informational posters will be further distributed in communities of Yangon and Mandalay that have high numbers of people entering from China living there. He said the addresses of international travellers staying in Myanmar will be compiled into a map.
The Union Minister said they are continuing surveillance of possible sick visitors in hotels and currently 25 out of 194 WHO member nations have confirmed the spread of the virus. He said a report traces the spread of the coronavirus to bats from China. He said the virus was transmitted from animals, especially from slaughterhouses, and this is why they must be properly inspected.
The Union Minister urged the public to refrain from handling wild animals or consuming unusual meat products (e.g. bats). He said they will boost understanding of home quarantine for people being monitored. He advised the public to practice washing hands more, as it is one of the most effective methods to prevent the spread of the virus.
WHO has held a 2-day forum to assess the current level of knowledge about the new COVID-19 disease, identify gaps and work together to accelerate and fund priority research needed to help stop this outbreak and prepare for any future outbreaks, said the Union Minister.
He said they are in constant contact with WHO and share information and news regarding the virus with it and other affiliated organizations. He said the WHO Director-General has stressed the importance of research, and the directives and regulations issued by his ministry need to be amended to reflect the current situation where necessary.
The meeting then discussed various topics, including the formation of a clinical management committee, how no person with suspected symptoms were found at the three international airports and the 27 official border check points of 20 townships in 8 states/ regions.
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)
Ref; The Global New Light of Myanmar