The number of COVID-19 patients in Myanmar has been increasing steadily as the Health Ministry confirms 10 cases as of 30th of March 2020.
Although still limited, there is concern that the country’s fragile health system would be rapidly overwhelmed by full scale epidemic, possibly leading to with dire human consequences.
In response, the government has formed a national level committee that since March has enforced a lockdown of the international airport for all arriving commercial flights as well as restaurants and all religious and social gatherings.
For ACTED in Myanmar, the priority has been to ensure the safety of all project beneficiaries and a coordinated adaptation of current activities to include the recommended Covid-19 prevention messages and measures.
As a practical example; in ACTED’s ongoing workshops, we are limiting the number of participants to 10, conducting temperature checks on everyone before allowing them to enter, and encouraging regular handwashing throughout the workshop. Also, all participants are given masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers to use both on the way to- and during the workshop while only ACTED’s staff wearing gloves are allowed to open and close doors.
Secondly, ACTED is developing and tailoring its response to the particular challenges of the crisis by exploring digital tools to facilitate both needs identification and response, all the while continuously continuing community engagement and communication on how to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.
These initial measures urgently need to be supplemented in order to increase preparedness and response capacities. To this end, ACTED is planning a major scale-up of its Covid-19 activities to this end in the weeks and months to come