17 July 2021, Mrauk-U
As a pandemic mitigation measure, vegetable and meat vendors at the Myoma Market in Arakan State’s Mrauk-U Township were temporarily relocated to Warit Taw Grounds, near the old town hospital, on July 17, according to the township development committee.
In an attempt to limit public gatherings and control the spread of Covid-19 amid the pandemic’s third wave, vegetable sellers were moved to Warit Taw Grounds proper while meat vendors were relocated to a nearby football pitch, said U Shwe Maung, an executive officer for the township development committee.
“Vendors were relocated under the direction of local authorities due to rising virus cases. A Covid-19 case was first detected in Myoma Market because the bazaar was crowded with many people. This is the reason why vendors are relocated to other locations in line with Covid-19 regulations,” he said.
It is unknown how long the vendors will be required to sell at their new locations, with the timeline for a return to the status quo depending on the status of the ongoing third wave of Covid-19.
U Maung Shwe Tin, a Mrauk-U town elder, said that although the relocation of vegetable, meat and fish vendors had thinned out the crowds, the public and sellers still showed little compliance with the coronavirus prevention rules.
“The current Covid [outbreak] is much more frightening than the first and second waves. In this day and age, it is important for people to follow the advice of those who are well-educated and well-informed,” he said.
He suggested that with the current outbreak’s growing prevalence of the more contagious Delta variant, the relevant health authorities and civil society organisations should take effective action and the public should abide by the regulations.
With Covid-19 fatalities during the pandemic’s third wave in Arakan State rising to 31 on Friday, it appeared likely that by weekend’s end the death toll would surpass the statewide total, 37, of the first two waves of the virus combined.