Update of news about the situation in Myanmar from Dr. Maung Maung

Yangon,  2.8.2020

Greetings from Myanmar! 

Very good to hear from you to know that both of you are well and keeping yourself occupied with things that you enjoy including works/projects.  In spite of the difficulties we are facing here, but by the grace of God we still are surviving and MIT has started online teaching/learning programs since July 15 because the lockdown for the whole country with certain restrictions has been extended until August 15.  Although there are some restrictions reduced to a certain extent, e.g. now not more than 15 people can gather under the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health, such as physical distancing, wearing masks and face shields, frequent handwashing, etc.  High Schools have reopened since last week under those restrictions and the authorities are observing how it would go before they decide to continue with Middle and Elementary classes.  Students have to divide into two groups, each group goes to school three days a week.  Schools‘ curricula have to be reduced/impair in accordance with the need since the regular school’s schedules have to be reduced substantially. 

International air travels have been banned until the end of August.  There are rumors (may be correct) saying that all international flights will be suspended until the end of September.  So, it seems that October could be the earliest to resume international flights landing and taking off in Myanmar.  However, because of the present government’s wisdom and systematic handling of the Coronavirus situation, things are well under control here so far.  There is no internal infection for about 6 weeks, only 6 died at the beginning and no more deaths so far.  Those who returned to Myanmar by Rescue Flights and/or border crossing are being facility quarantined for 21 days, after that 7 days home quarantined.  It’s a must and of no choice.  Generally, most people comply with this system since the government free quarantine with necessary facilities.  Now, in neighbouring SEA countries and a country like Japan are facing the second wave of Coronavirus infection and it keeps increasing.  That’s terrible! 

Now, in Myanmar also people began to be negligent, taking granted with the better situation of the country with no domestic infection for about six weeks.  I think that’s studpid.  I do hope and pray that there would be no outbreaks in Myanmar since it would be a disaster for a poor country like us, still having civil wars in some parts of the country and natural disasters. 

Not surprising that inflation is high, commodities prices are soaring, scarcity of some basic commodities like medicines and other necessary materials since border trades stopped and/or critically slowed down.  Economic crisis is threatening all of us, and the world too.  Myanmar authorities are trying to solve the economic problems by trying to boost the domestic businesses and enterprises in many ways, including the reduction of taxes for import/export materials to a certain extent from August 1.  People are happy about it.  Well, Ursula, this is general information about Myanmar’s situation at present.  I think it gives you some helpful information about the present situation of Myanmar. Dr. Maung Maung Yin; Myanmar Institute of Theology MIT), Insein, Yangon

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