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South Korea donates protective equipment and testing kits to Myanmar

South Korea provided thousands of sets of protective gears as well as testing kits to Myanmar to boost the country’s fight against the dreaded pneumonia-like disease COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health and Sports and the Yangon regional government.

The Korean embassy on Tuesday held a handover ceremony for 1000 protective coverall plus 5000 new coronavirus testing kits with officials from the health ministry. Other items donated included 50,000 pairs of medical gloves and 10,000 sets of surgical clothes and hats.

“This is an example of how Korea could cooperate with Myanmar,” said South Korean ambassador to Myanmar, Lee Sang-hwa.Myanmar’s health ministry has confirmed the first two COVID-19 cases late Monday, both of whom are Myanmar nationals travelling from the US and the UK. They are being treated at hospitals in Chin and Yangon respectively.

As confirmed cases emerged in the country, the Korean ambassador suggested a “three-T policy”, namely “Trace, Test and Treat”.

“There’s no magic solution,” Mr Lee said. He explained from South Korea’s experience that the authorities must track down high-risk people aggressively, conducting testing as quickly and widely as possible so that people contracted the virus could be put in isolated facilities to prevent further spread, and lastly, treat them properly with at the facilities with the proper medical treatment.

On Tuesday morning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took up stricter measures, ordering all incoming travellers, Myanmar nationals and foreigners included, to go through 14-day quarantine at government-designated facilities. Foreigners who wish to travel to Myanmar have to present health certificates before boarding flights to the country.

Concerns have been raised about the capability of the government to respond to a possible outbreak, especially because of the apparent insufficiency in health infrastructure across the country.

Over the last few weeks, multiple embassies in Yangon, including the UK, the US, Singapore, have advised their citizens to leave the country amid concerns about the capacity of Myanmar’s healthcare system and the increasing numbers of cancellations of commercial flights out of the country.

Around the world, the pneumonia-like disease has spread to 196 countries and territories, killing over 16,000 people and infecting nearly 390,000.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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