A cargo vessel returning from Bangladesh is sprayed with disinfectant. (Photo: Rakhine Fire Force)

DMG Newsroom
30 April 2021, Maungdaw

The Arakan State Administration Council, the state-level governing body of Myanmar’s military junta, is taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus from Bangladesh and India though border trade centres in Sittwe and Maungdaw.

“As a preventative measure, in Maungdaw, we are taking records of ships that arrive and the number of crew on each ship. We have also taken pictures of the crew,” said information officer U Hla Thein of the Arakan State Administration Council.

“When vessels arrive at the jetty, we don’t allow the crew to enter the town. We have built something like hostels at the jetty and keep the crew in isolation,” he added. “We also conduct COVID-19 tests on them. Those who conduct COVID-19 tests wear personal protective equipment level-2. These are the measures we have taken in Maungdaw.”

COVID-19 tests are also conducted at the Mingan border trade centre in Sittwe with the help of police, concerned authorities and volunteers, according to U Hla Thein.

“We have also taken preventative measures at Mingan border trade centre in Sittwe with the help of the police force,” U Hla Thein said.

The Arakan State Administration Council has issued guidelines for vessels to follow, and has warned that vessels in violation of the guidelines will be banned from leaving the jetty for one month.

No new COVID-19 patient has been found in Arakan State in recent testing. The state-level military council is also reportedly educating local people to follow the COVID-19 instructions of the Ministry of Health and Sports.

The preventative measures and testing at the border trade sites in Sittwe and Maungdaw come amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh and India, which border Arakan State.

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