The full text of the televised speech of State Counsellor  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her capacity as Chairperson of the National-Level Central  Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), reporting the updated situation of the Coronavirus infection in Myanmar

Citizens of the of the Union of Myanmar,

I would like to give you the latest news of COVID-19 in Myanmar. Out of fourteen cases, checked and confirmed positive and hospitalized (till today), one passed away this morning. The case (suffering from CA Nose) had come back from Australia via Singapore recently. Based on the nature of COVID-19, those older adults suffering from various diseases with low resistance are more at high risk and vulnerable. The risk is higher if they do not get prompt medical attention. So if you are having early warning signs, like fever, dry cough, and breathing difficulties, get medical attention immediately.

The threat of COVID-19 is alarming because it spreads very fast. That is why a suspected case must be quarantined so that he or she could be separated from others and so that others would not get infected. Although COVID-19 came into the country from abroad, it can spread very quickly in large quantities as a result of contact among people. The most effective method of prevention and control is to avoid contacts. That is why you are advised to avoid going to crowded places, both indoors or outdoors. Gathering at home with relatives and friends and staying close to each other would be dangerous, just like mingling in the crowd outdoors. At this time, like in the saying “The farther, the better”, please take care and protect your health and the health of others. Stay at home as much as you can. I understand however that some people with accommodation problems would have difficulties. Anyhow, for a certain period of time, all of our people need to hang on with strong determination and bear the difficulties. If each of us works with full sense of duty to stop the spread of COVID-19, we would be able to overcome this challenge. I would like to request those who have been placed under the 14 days quarantine to exercise your patience and pass the required period of time with good will for others. Therefore those confined under quarantine are being quarantined because they are liable to be infected by the virus. If you are placed under quarantine, as a PUI (Patient under investigation) case, this if for your own good. If the symptoms are checked and detected earlier, then you’ll be given timely medical attention, so the treatment would tip the balance for the better. If you help yourself, you also help others, you know.

After the Ministry of Health and Sports had announced that there could be a big outbreak of the pandemic, there were some people who raised their voices for a “Lock Down”, while others were worried about when the Lock Down was coming. Therefore, in the national interest, community quarantine may be carried out in some regions, in which the access or exit is denied. If such a situation occurs, a committee headed by the Vice President-1 has already been organized for the purpose of taking systematic measures for the sufficient and sustainable supply of provisions and medicines, as well as for the political stability in such a region under special care. We will inform you as early as possible if there is a need for community quarantine for a particular region. And I would like to urge the people of such a special region to cooperate and collaborate with their understanding of the important situation.

Of course, there could be consequences from the outbreak of COVID-19, which would make an impact on the economy, and the Union government has, therefore, taken precautionary measures so that the people would have to suffer as little as possible. For example, we have already started giving out loans to enterprises that need the most. This is to pay wages to workers and to keep the enterprises running. The working committee tasked with alleviating the impact of COVID-19 on the economy has been monitoring and studying the situation full time. It has laid down suitable programs and implementing them.

You all are requested to be alert to all announcements made by the Ministry of Health and Sports on a continuing basis. We all should be united and exercise a full sense of responsibility individually for the sake of individual health and the health of others. Unity is strength; people are the key. If the people do what needs to be done in unity, success will be the outcome for all of us.

Today, while countries all over the world have been grappling with the pressing issue of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus, we are also trying to the best of our ability. It’s quite heartening for me to witness that our people have been making their contributions in the roles assigned, serving their duties in respective sectors with a strong sense of responsibility. I fully believe that we can calmly overcome this pandemic with our collective strength.

I must acknowledge my gratitude to all medical officers, nurses and health workers, who are battling at present on the frontlines with high morale, despite difficulties and hardships. I’d say you are the heroes who are battling for the people. Moreover, I wish to express my gratitude on behalf of the State, to all quarter/ village administrators, staff of the Department of General Administration, staff of other departments and all the people who have being contributing to these efforts.