12th coordination meeting on COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment held

12th coordination meeting on COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment held

Nay Pyi Taw  September  13

The 12th coordination meeting on COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment was held at the meeting hall of the Bayintnaung Villa in Nay Pyi Taw this morning with an address by State Administration Council Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Vice-Senior General Soe Win.

Also present were SAC members, Union ministers, deputy ministers, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army) and officials. Chief ministers of regions and states and officials participated in the meeting through Video Conferencing.

In his speech, the Vice-Senior General said he attended the meeting on behalf of the Prime Minister of the State. During the 538 days till 12 September, 431,833 confirmed cases were detected in the country. Day by day results show infection rate fall to eight percent or 10 percent during the period from  5 to 12 this month. The COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment central committee is holding meeting every Monday starting from 7 July and the present one is held today is the 12th meeting with the goal of reducing the number of confirmed cases and infection rate. The emergency response committee was also holding meetings almost daily through Video Conferencing. But at present it is holding meetings twice a week.  Thanks to the public participation, infection rate dropped to eight percent this week from roundabout 40 percent at its peak. According to the  list,  the number of civil servants is over 800,000 and of them over 50 percent or over 400,000 has been vaccinated. 

Public  holidays had lasted nearly two months. And all movements and functions were conducted in accord with the safety rules. Hence, the infection rate has dropped. Today,  the  ministries  have started their office work under two-week work and two-week rest system to resume their functions in accord with the COVID-19 prevention rules. Because of the State’s introduction of relaxations and cancellation of some rules for vaccine, treatment medicine and medical equipment importers and the participation of the entire public and service personnel there is a significant drop in the infection rate within two months. Although the percentage has dropped to eight percent, safety level according to the Ministry of Health and international standard is below five percent. Hence, all should work collectively with added acceleration  without  losing momentum to reach the safety level. Infection rate will rise  again if there is weakness in observing the rules, lack of supervision  by officials and recurrence of crowded public events.  As COVID-19 is unpredictable, all should observe the safety rules and get vaccination without fail in accord with the procedures. According to the Prime Minister nothing is more important than life. Hence the central committee, the emergency response committee and the subcommittees at region/state levels are making utmost efforts for everyone’s existence. The virus has been curbed through all-round constructive efforts including the provision of medicines, oxygen and necessary equipment by a large number of well-wishers, government assistance and support and installation of oxygen plants. But sadly, some of the internal and external organizations are disturbing the treatment and vaccination activities. They are spreading false information on the ground with the intention of reducing public trust in the vaccines the government is giving to the public. There are grenade attacks and threats to scare off volunteers and people who wish to get vaccination.These were unacceptable  Bio terrorist acts. On one hand, it violates the individual rights. Severe action is being taken against them. Moreover, security will be tightened continuously. It is necessary to violently prevent and respond to those who undermine the prevention, control and treatment activities of COVID-19. As the government adopted the plans to take vaccines and medicines for prevention of COVID-19, anyone should not disturb such process. The Head of State gave guidance to vaccinate those from ethnic armed organizations for vaccination of COVID-19 with goodwill to enable the ethnic people across the nation to overcome challenges of the pandemic. The relevant ministry and the National Unity and Peacemaking Working Committee contacted the NCA signatories and non-signatories for vaccination. As the vaccination is implemented through QR Code system, they were contacted to send the necessary member lists for receiving vaccination. It was reported that some organization misunderstood for demanding of the member lists for vaccination and sparked doubts. The benevolence of the Head of State was to enable all the ethnic people from various parts of the nation to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 through vaccination and to soonest regain recovery with the best immunity against the disease.

With regard to the vaccination, although the organizations formed in regions and states cooperate in the vaccination, there remain many numbers of people to receive vaccines in some regions and state. Hence, it is necessary systematically scrutinize the statistics from respective townships not to leave the target groups, not to complicate the accounts and try hard to finish the work process. Efforts must be made for systematically giving the allotted vaccines to the target groups. As COVID-19 will not disappear totally, the Head of State assigned the relevant ministries to manufacture the vaccines at home. The government is strive for production of vaccine at home, and region and state chief ministers need to emphasize soonest vaccination and sending of the correct statistics on vaccinated lists.

Next, member of the State Administration Council, Union ministers, senior military officers and those present reported on infection of COVID-19 in regions and states, recoveries, treatment for patients at hospitals, conditions of hospitals and centres which have prepared to admit confirmed patients and suspects, vaccination to health staff and remaining numbers, arrangements for making necessary preparation for hospitals, daily medical examination, findings of infected persons and declining of infection rate, production of oxygen exceeding the target, arrivals of 4 million units of vaccine from China on 12 September,arrangements to send the vaccines to regions and states, progress of vaccination, remaining number of people, need of cooperation in systematic vaccination, progress of vaccinating the people of above 55 years old in the process including those with disability and members of EAOs, contacts for purchase of vaccines, potentials to arrive 10 million units of vaccines purchased from China in September, 10 more million units in October and four million units in November, donations of vaccines, medicines and humanitarian aids from ASEAN and dialogue partner countries,

production of COVID-19 vaccines at home to distribute through ready to full system, further running of relief flights to call back Myanmar citizens abroad, cash donations to the COVID-19 Prevention, Control and Treatment Committee, import of vaccines and medicines via air, port and border gates, arrangements to withdraw the imported medicines and medical equipment as quickly as possible under the FDA recommendation, broadcasting of news, songs and education programmes in Myanmar and ethnic languages, raising of health awareness of the people through TV channels, declaring of announcements related to the disease in wards, cooperation with China in border regions for vaccinating the local ethnic people,COVID-19 testing  after  hotspots  have been designated, decreasing infection and positivity rates, supervisory measures to be taken in some townships that still see high outbreak, monitoring tasks at Sarthintaiks, homes for the aged  and other  crowded places and continued measures, re-entry of Myanmar citizens from abroad and their Covid testing, infection and treatment, mobile sale of goods on vehicles, transport of Myanmar citizens, medicines and medical equipment to the country on relief flights, continued  operation  of  railway, water and air routes in order not to cut off transport and transport of passengers and goods, sending of SMS messages through telecom operators about health knowledge, terrorists’ bomb attacks on the telecom towers and their repair work, treatment of positive patients and suspected patients at Tatmadaw hospitals and units and research work on developing a COVID-19  vaccine  from  traditional herbs.    

In his concluding remark, the Vice-Senior General said 65 of the 119 stay-at-home townships made no significant progress without a decrease in positivity rate. According to the data, however, nine townships have seen a significant decrease while four others see an increase again. Eleven of those townships are not on the list of hotspot areas, so testing must be increased. Despite distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, there are still a lot of people yet to get vaccinated. Since more vaccine doses that have arrived will be distributed, vaccine stockpiles left will cause difficulties for cold change storage. Without systematic storage, the vaccines bought in foreign currency will get damaged. Therefore, vaccinations must be carried out as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, preparatory measures must be taken to administer vaccines townshipwise in order of priority. Lists of those who have been vaccinated must be made through QR code and records must be systematically kept. In vaccination process in some regions, some people have no national restriction cards or have lost them. So, the chief ministers have to make sure the COVID-19 vaccination progress is correct while trying to complete the Pan Khin project earlier by including some project officials in the vaccination teams. Thus, the chief ministers need to coordinate as necessary. Despite private cooperation in vaccination, only health staff meeting the prescribed requirements need to be assigned for administering vaccines. Responsible private organizations and officials also need to make systematic records of vaccination for correct data.

The number of hospitalized patients has decreased, but hospitals must prepare separate rooms for emergency treatment of other diseases and COVID-19. They must be ready  for  treatment  at  any time. As outbreak decreases, some  COVID-19  treatment centers are closing. But, they need to keep their equipment systematically and keep them ready for instant use when necessary. Despite just about 8 percent positivity rate, measures are necessary in consideration of what may come next. Constant daily monitoring is required for COVID-19.

And timely reports must be sent to the emergency committee and central committee for COVID-19 prevention, con-trol and treatment measures, the Vice-Senior General said.