Myanmar

Myanmar Reports 22nd COVID-19 Case
Myanmar confirmed another COVID-19 case on Monday evening, taking the country’s total to 22 confirmed coronavirus patients, including one death.

Myanmar Firms to Make Face Masks to Meet COVID-19 Demand
Businesses in Yangon are preparing to produce face masks as prices rise due to the coronavirus.

Manufacturing exports exceed $5 bln as of 27 March
Exports of finished industrial goods have touched a high of US$5.09 billion between 1 October and 27 March in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, an increase of $452 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

COVID-19 Outbreak in Myanmar: Key Facts and Figures
It has been more than two weeks since Myanmar detected its first COVID-19 case. As of Monday afternoon, the country had reported a total of 22 cases, including one death.

Myanmar Public Overwhelmingly Backs Crackdown on Wildlife Markets to Prevent Pandemics: Survey
As they grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar people overwhelmingly support the closure of illegal and unregulated wildlife markets as a way to prevent future pandemics, a new WWF survey on the coronavirus and wildlife trade in Asia has found.

One more coronavirus case reported in Myanmar
The National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) of Myanmar said on Monday that one more coronavirus patient has been diagnosed in the country, increasing the total number of coronavirus infected patients in Myanmar to 15 as of Monday.

Blocked websites, internet shutdown, and media arrests undermine free speech in Myanmar
Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has directed four major telecommunication service providers to block websites supposedly in the name of combatting disinformation amid the government’s campaign to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Myanmar earns US$1.8 B from natural gas export in six months
Myanmar earned over US$1.8 billion from natural gas export from October 1 to March 27 in this fiscal year and it is more US$18 million in comparison with the same period in the last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar’s State Counselor Vows ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Price Gougers of COVID-19 Protective Items
Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has issued a stern warning to anyone who would engage in price gouging on surgical masks amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, saying she had a “zero tolerance” policy toward those who jack up prices of essential goods.

What’s in the New Coronavirus Ceasefire Talk in Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflict?
While calls for a pause in violence are notable, it remains to be seen whether they will be heeded or can be sustained and translated into positive developments.

One more coronavirus case reported in Myanmar
The National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) of Myanmar said on Monday that one more coronavirus patient has been diagnosed in the country, increasing the total number of coronavirus infected patients in Myanmar to 15 as of Monday.

Blocked websites, internet shutdown, and media arrests undermine free speech in Myanmar
Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has directed four major telecommunication service providers to block websites supposedly in the name of combatting disinformation amid the government’s campaign to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Myanmar earns US$1.8 B from natural gas export in six months
Myanmar earned over US$1.8 billion from natural gas export from October 1 to March 27 in this fiscal year and it is more US$18 million in comparison with the same period in the last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar’s State Counselor Vows ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Price Gougers of COVID-19 Protective Items
Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has issued a stern warning to anyone who would engage in price gouging on surgical masks amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, saying she had a “zero tolerance” policy toward those who jack up prices of essential goods.

What’s in the New Coronavirus Ceasefire Talk in Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflict?
While calls for a pause in violence are notable, it remains to be seen whether they will be heeded or can be sustained and translated into positive developments.

No new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after National Laboratory conducts 55 tests
The Ministry of Health and Sports is closely monitoring, conducting surveillance and medical treatments, identifying those who had close contact with the positive patients for quarantines, admitting to the hospitals, getting information about the returnees from foreign countries in coordination with local authorities and state.

Myanmar to face power shortages as emergency plants miss deadlines
Driving past trucks laden with containers along the road that leads to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the outskirts of Yangon, one can easily spot from afar the company logos of the many manufacturers and utilities providers which have their factories there.

14-day quarantine, stay home in April called key to defeat COVID-19 in Myanmar
April might be considered the month which will decide the fate of the Coronavirus in Myanmar.

MIC approves more than $550 million in FDI
The Myanmar Investment Commission has approved more than US$500 million worth of foreign direct investments (FDI) from 11 businesses and K50 billion in local investments on April 3, a day after the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the country climbed to 20.

Mandalay man likely first patient to recover from COVID-19
The 33-year-old COVID-19 patient from Mandalay is likely to be the first to recover from the deadly disease in the country, after a recent test showed he is already negative for the virus, the Health Ministry said on April 5.

Myanmar reports four new COVID-19 patients
A family of four, including an eight-year-old girl, in Paukkhaung township in Bago Region has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Over 60% of European-Run Firms in Myanmar Hurt by COVID-19: EuroCham Survey
Amid an overall economic slowdown in Myanmar, the EU Chamber of Commerce’s latest survey revealed that more than 60 percent of its member companies in the country have already been either significantly or moderately affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Myanmar Suspends New Rice Export Licenses to Ensure Domestic Supply Amid Virus Outbreak
Myanmar has stopped issuing rice export licenses following the declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic, but will honor existing licenses, the head of an industry group said Wednesday, as local merchants warned that hoarding could threaten domestic supply.

Covid-19 restores Myanmar military’s lost powers
After weeks of implausible official denials, Myanmar is finally facing up to the reality of its Covid-19 outbreak.

Myanmar Migrant Workers Risk Fines And Jail to Get Home Amid COVID-19 Exodus
Thai police arrested and later released 300 migrant workers as they headed to the border to return home to Myanmar on Thursday amid the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, part of an exodus spanning across Southeast Asia as factories in Thailand that rely on foreign labor close down, a labor activist, an embassy official, a labor activist, and a lawmaker said.

Number of COVID-19 cases rises to 16 in Myanmar
The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 16 as of Wednesday in Myanmar, said the latest figures released by the Health and Sports Ministry.

Yangon authorities mull street lockdown over new COVID-19 patient
Yangon authorities have quarantined 26 residents, including 2 children who live on Nilar 1 Street, Ga Ngal quarter in North Okkapala township at the Bayintnaung Tatmadaw Interrogaton Facility.

Coronavirus threatens Myanmar’s most vulnerable in displacement camps
An estimated 350,000 displaced people across Myanmar are “sitting in the path of a public health catastrophe”, says rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Myanmar charges journalist under terrorism law, blocks news site
Nay Myo Lin, Voice of Myanmar’s chief editor, facing life sentence after publishing interview with rebel Arakan Army.

$350m World Bank grant for Rohingyas, host communities
The World Bank has approved $350 million in grant financing for three projects to help Bangladesh cope with one of the world’s largest ‘forced exodus’ of Rohingyas from Myanmar.

Myanmar reports first death from COVID-19
Myanmar said Tuesday that a nasal cancer patient who tested positive for the novel coronavirus has passed away, marking the country’s first confirmed death from the disease.

Myanmar journalist hit with terrorism charges for interviewing insurgents
A Myanmar journalist faces up to life in prison for publishing an interview with a rebel group operating in the country’s restive Rakhine state, a week after the insurgents were classified as a terrorist organisation.

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks
Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference.

Myanmar, Chinese associations donate medical supplies to Myanmar’s hospital for COVID-19 fight
Myanmar and Chinese associations donated medical supplies to the Natmauk General Hospital in Myanmar’s Magway region on Tuesday to help fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

SMEs start feeling effects of virus outbreak
Some small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) have started suffering from the effects of coronavirus outbreak, business owners say.

Myanmar Reports Four New COVID-19 Cases; Total Climbs to 14
Three French tourists and a local man returning from Thailand tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, taking Myanmar’s total number of cases to 14, health officials said.

China committed to investing in Myanmar despite COVID-19 pandemic: Ambassador
China will support Myanmar economically and continue its infrastructure push in the country despite the setbacks caused by COVID-19, China’s ambassador to Myanmar, Chen Hai, told The Myanmar Times during an exclusive interview.

Myanmar Govt Announces Loan Package for Coronavirus-Hit Businesses in Key Sectors
The Myanmar government has announced that local businesses that have been badly hit by COVID-19 can apply for loans as part of its initial stimulus package to cushion the impact of the global pandemic on the country’s economy.

Myanmar warns people against anti-malaria, antibiotic drugs
The Myanmar Food and Drug Administration has warned people against using an anti-malaria drug and an antibiotic as a cure for the COVID-19 virus.

Myanmar’s maritime trade reaches over 13 bln USD in first half of current fiscal year
Myanmar’s trade through sea route reached over 13.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of the present fiscal year 2019-2020 which started in October, according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry on Monday.

Myanmar COVID-19 patients climb to 10
The number of COVID-19 patients in Myanmar has been increasing steadily as the Health Ministry confirmed two more infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 10.

Myanmar to ban intl. commercial passenger flights
Myanmar’s government says it will ban the landing of all international commercial passenger flights for two weeks starting late on Monday, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Myanmar CSOs issue statement of concern over rights during the COVID-19 crisis
An extensive list of 200 Myanmar civil society organizations (CSOs) today issued a joint statement voicing concern about how the Myanmar authorities handle their programme to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.

COVID-19: Myanmar temporarily suspends entry visas
Myanmar will temporarily suspend entry visas beginning Sunday in efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Mandalay closes 41 markets, Dawei shuts down beaches
Mandalay city ordered the shutdown of 41 big markets, and Dawei city in Tanintharyi region closed its famed beaches as Myanmar’s bid to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak leveled-up on Saturday.

China provides $6.7m for 22 projects in Myanmar
China will provide US$6.78million (K9.45 billion) to Myanmar for 22 projects under the Mekong-Lancang cooperation initiative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday.

Myanmar urged to restore Internet during virus crisis
Townships in Rakhine and Chin states need access to critical information during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Myanmar confirms third COVID-19 case
The Health Ministry confirmed another COVID-19 case in Myanmar on Tuesday, the third in two days.

Trade Department to launch online services as of 1 April
The Department of Trade under the Ministry of Commerce will provide online services for export and import licences as of 1 April, aiming to reduce person-to-person contacts in preventing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Myanmar Orders Half of Govt Employees to Stay Home Over COVID-19
The government has told half of its employees to stay home as it ramps up efforts to combat COVID-19. The order excludes health treatment providers at government hospitals.

First 2 COVID-19 cases detected in Myanmar
Two persons who returned from the U.S and the UK tested positive for the COVID-19 on 23 March, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health and Sports.
— Inquirer.net

Domestic flights to cease operations from Wednesday, says Govt as Coronavirus crisis deepens
Meanwhile, all international passenger flights have already been prohibited to land in India from Sunday till a week’s time to contain the spread of COVID-19.
— Eleven Myanmar

Myanmar Faces Squeeze on Hospitals, Basic Needs as Virus Arrives
Myanmar, which shares borders with China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh and Laos, is facing the reality of the novel coronavirus, after the government officially confirmed the first two cases of Covid-19 late Monday.

Enough COVID-19 test kits for Myanmar, says WHO representative
Myanmar – which announced two COVID-19 positive cases on Monday (Mar 23) – currently has enough test kits to detect suspected cases, says a World Health Organization’s (WHO) official.

Myanmar announces tougher measures for arriving travellers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Civil Aviation said that all incoming Myanmar nationals and foreign travellers will be subjected to a 14-day facility quarantine upon arrival.

Myanmar suspends e-visas and visas on arrival amid coronavirus pandemic
The Myanmar government has stopped issuing visas on arrival and e-visas for all visitors until the end of April as it ramps up its efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Border checkpoints in Tak to close from Monday
TAK: All checkpoints in this northern border province along the border with Myanmar will be closed to people and vehicles – with an exception for vehicles transporting goods and their crew – from Monday, March 23, until further notice, governor Ansit Sampantharat said on Sunday.

Myanmar parliament votes to seek $10m grant from IDA for health ministry
Myanmar parliament members debated a motion this week forwarded from the President’s Office to acquire $10 million from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Ministry of Health and Sports, according to local media.

Myanmar, Thailand bilateral border trade hit $ 1.8 bln in FY 2019-2020
Bilateral border trade between Myanmar and Thailand totalled around US$1.88 billion as of 13 March in fiscal year (FY) 2019-2020 which started on 1 October last year, according to the figures from the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar Internet shutdown worsens conditions for displaced villagers in Rakhine
With Internet in parts of Rakhine shut down by the government to control the ongoing Myanmar conflict, aid organisations are struggling to distribute help to displaced villagers. Leong Wai Kit reports.

MTEA proposes loan scheme for survival of declining tourism industry
Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (MTEA) has proposed a plan to take a loan of around Ks 50 billion from the government in order to avoid the unemployment of thousands of skilled workers in the Covid-19 hit local tourism industry, said U Naung Naung Han, Chair of the MTEA, at a meeting on the economic remedy for Covid-19 at UMFCCI on 17 March.

At least 10,000 now unemployed in Yangon garment sector
At least 20 out of the 500 factories in Myanmar have shut down, leaving more than 10,000 potentially unemployed as a result of COVID-19.

Malaysia seeks 2,000 Rohingyas for Covid-19 checks after tabligh gathering
Malaysian authorities are scrambling to track down about 2,000 Rohingya men who attended a Muslim religious gathering that has led to a big spike in coronavirus cases across Southeast Asia, a security source and two other people told Reuters.

Yangon water supply upgrade may bypass the poorest
The Myanmar and Japanese governments are working together to deliver clean, drinkable water to millions of Yangon residents and end groundwater use, but the city’s poorest households may miss out on the benefits.

COVID-19 could hit FDI in Myanmar; 4000 workers lose jobs
The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Myanmar could be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, hitting manufacturing businesses that rely on import of raw materials, according to U Thant Sin Lwin, secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). Currently, more than 10 garment factories have shut down due to losses caused by the outbreak.

MoHS to use $10.7 mln international funds for COVID-19 prevention measures
The Ministry of Health and Sports will use US$ 10.7 million international funds for prevention and control measures against the COVID-19.

UK Embassy Tells Citizens to Leave Myanmar Amid Coronavirus Concerns
The UK Embassy in Yangon is concerned the coronavirus will pressure Myanmar’s healthcare system and flights may be cancelled, though the country so far has no confirmed cases.

Myanmar military should drop criminal defamation complaint against editor – CPJ
The Myanmar military should immediately drop its criminal defamation complaint against editor Ye Ni and stop using legal threats to stifle reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said.

Myanmar Govt Suspends Advance Tax on Exports to Aid Virus-Hit Businesses
In a bid to ease pressure on Myanmar’s coronavirus-hit businesses, the government has unveiled a raft of measures including tax relief, soft loans and training programs.

Is Myanmar ready for 2020 elections?
In late 2020, Myanmar will hold its general election for more than 1,000 seats in its legislative bodies. The lead-up to the elections overlaps with the 21st Century Panglong peace process and the possible repatriating of Rohingya refugees in ways that will only deepen social tensions.

Myanmar has zero coronavirus cases, claims Aung San Suu Kyi
The porous Myanmar-China border stretches more than 1,400 miles but coronavirus cases have only been reported on one side.

Myanmar Orders Quarantine, Monitoring for Arrivals from Countries Hit by Coronavirus
The Myanmar government has ordered mandatory quarantines or surveillance for travelers arriving from eight countries that have been hit badly by the COVID-19 outbreak, as a precautionary measurement to limit the risk of spreading the disease within Myanmar. Travelers are also required to present medical certificates stating they have no symptoms of acute respiratory illness.

Myanmar workers seek up to K15,000 minimum wage
Workers’ groups have presented surveys to support their claim that the daily minimum wage should range between K6000 (US$4.33) and K15,000.

Tour companies charter flights to bring home 2500 Myanmar pilgrims
Tour operators will charter flights to bring home more than 2500 Myanmar pilgrims stranded in the ancient Indian city of Bodh Gaya next week, according to the group coordinating the flights.

Local fuel prices fall Ks305-345 per liter in over three months
Local fuel prices have continued to fall by Ks305 to Ks345 per liter over the past three months as global oil prices went down to around US$31 per barrel, according to local filling stations

About 4000 workers have lost their jobs since the start of the year due to closures and reduction of workforce in 15 factories, according to U Thein Swe, Minister of Labour Immigration and Population

Myanmar army sues Reuters over report on deaths of Rohingya women
Myanmar’s police said the army had filed a lawsuit against Reuters news agency and a local lawmaker for criminal defamation, weeks after the military objected to a news story published about the death of two Rohingya Muslim women as a result of shelling in Rakhine state

Rakhine is Myanmar’s drug export hub, military says
The Tatmadaw (military) says it has mapped the flow of Myanmar’s drug trade, with Shan State as the production centre and Rakhine State as its sale and export hub.

Myanmar is still paying the military’s debts
In the two minutes it takes you to read this editorial, Myanmar will have had to repay another K700,000 – almost US$500 – on its debt for the Myingyan steel mill in Mandalay Region.

Mizoram to seal international borders, bans foreigners
The Mizoram government has decided to seal all international borders and ban foreigners in the wake of the coronavirus issue, an official said on Monday.

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