Yangon regional govt extends curfew for another two months

A night view of Sule Pagoda, a stupa located in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. [Photo/Xinhua]. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

YANGON, Apr 25, 2020, Myanmar Times. An existing 10pm-4am curfew imposed in all 45 townships of Yangon Region will remain effective until June 18, according to the township general administration department. The announcement was made under the instruction of the Yangon regional government, Myanmar Times reported.

In the original April 18 announcement of the curfew, the authorities did not include a duration and so a time period has been added, said U Hla Htay, MP of Mingalar Taung Nyunt constituency No 1.

“If the COVID-19 situation can be controlled after two months then the night curfew order will be annulled. However, if it cannot be controlled, we will make the necessary announcements when needed,” he said.

This is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as to control other security problems such as crime that may arise as a result of the spike in cases.

Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes during the curfew unless prior approval is granted by ward officials or during emergencies. Action will be taken in the event of failure to comply with the new rules.

Separately, in an update on her Facebook account, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on April 23 also said directives announced by the Central Committee on Prevention, Controlling and Treatment of COVID-19 would be extended from April 30 to May 15.

The State Counsellor did not make specific reference to a particular directive.

Since the World Health Organisation first classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Myanmar’s states and regions have implemented various regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their jurisdictions.

The Myanmar Times understands that implementation of the policies and directives recommended by the COVID-19 Central Committee varies in each region and state, depending on the situation and environment.

In Yangon, authorities have advised against dining in restaurants in favour of takeaway only, suspended all commercial flight arrivals, disallowed send-offs and pick-ups at the airport, banned gatherings of more than five with some exceptions, imposed a 10pm-4am curfew and implemented semi-lockdowns in the seven townships with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

The Central Committee has not published an official statement on the extension of its directives. Detailed announcements and regulations for each state and region from the regional authorities are expected to be issued in the days to come.

In her Facebook update, Daw Suu also referred to a second wave of COVID-19 cases that is still to come. “In Myanmar, the first wave of COVID-19 has not even ended and it is not possible to know how far this will spread and when it will peak so we should hope for the best and make preparations for the worst,” she said.

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