Kyaw Thu Htay and Myo Thiri Kyaw | DMG
20 August, Sittwe 

Restrictions have been put in place in Sittwe as the number of coronavirus-positive patients reported in the Arakan State capital has risen to nine in less than a week. 

Lockdown measures were imposed on August 20 in some residential parts of Sittwe such as Danyawadi, Mizan, Lanmadaw South and Myothugyi wards after COVID-19 cases were reported in their vicinities. 

Sittwe’s Myoma Market will be open for only half days until further notice, according to Deputy Director U Kyaw Moe, executive officer of the township development committee. 

“The decision was made in accordance with the local government’s instruction as the number of coronavirus-positive patients is rising in Sittwe. The decision to lift restrictions will depend on the spread and infection [rate] of the virus,” he said. 

He added that restaurants and tea shops in Sittwe would be allowed to sell food for takeaway only beginning August 21. 

With the exception of Air KBZ, all private airlines flying Sittwe-to-Yangon routes temporarily suspended operations on August 20, according to air ticketing centres. 

People travelling to Yangon from Sittwe will be placed under facility quarantine and have two swab samples taken for testing, Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs U Naing Ngan Lin wrote on his Facebook page.  

A female employee from CB Bank in Sittwe was found to have been infected with coronavirus on August 16. On August 19, three women tested positive for coronavirus and five more people tested positive on August 20. 

Concerns have been raised among Sittwe residents over a potential local transmission outbreak of the deadly virus in Arakan State’s largest city as the coronavirus-positive patients have reported no recent travel history abroad.  

Twenty-five patients have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in Arakan State. Sixteen have recovered and were discharged from hospitals while the nine recently reported cases remain hospitalised and are receiving medical treatment at Sittwe Hospital.

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