Community response called key to overcoming challenges in Rakhine

FOLLOWING a surge of infections, which recently struck Rakhine State, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our country reached 775 yesterday.

The situation is ringing an alarm bell because of its higher infection rate, compared to previous outbreaks in other states and regions.

People showing no symptoms and ignoring public health protocol appear to be able to spread the novel coronavirus that has caused the outbreak in Rakhine State.

Since those who have travelled to Rakhine State are now in other parts of the country, authorities have enforced stricter policies to prevent new outbreaks of COVID-19, especially in crowded locations, such as IDP camps and factories.

To effectively stop the source of infection, we need to put in place aggressive, adequate and immediate measures.

From 10 to 27 August, over 5,700 people had travel history to Rakhine State by air, and of them, some might have been infected the coronavirus. The government has announced their names in the state-run newspapers.

Those who had travel history to Rakhine State after 10 August have put our country at high risk for the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Hence, they are obliged to contact the local health authorities or they will face fines and even prison time under Section-2 (b) of the National Disaster Management Law.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also a natural disaster, and those who do not comply with the law can face fines and even prison time under Section-2 (b) of the National Disaster Management Law.

Meanwhile, the current situation in Rakhine State with a surge in positive cases of COVID-19 infection, has caused challenges for the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) which is being implemented in the state since March.

In this time of crisis, the continuous cooperation between the ministries concerned is playing a critical role in putting our country on its the current success CERP trajectory to alleviate pains caused by the COVID-19.

There are requirements for implementing the CERP plan in Rakhine State in this situation. Hence, all people are advised to cooperate with the regional authorities and volunteers to ensure that there would be no waste, no unnecessary delays to this programme.