19 July 2021, Sittwe
In some Arakan State villages, visitors have reportedly been restricted from entering and leaving to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
U Kyaw Mya Chay, a member of the Administration Committee of the Tin Nyo “model village” in Mrauk-U Township, told DMG that from July 19, visitors from other towns such as Kyauktaw, Minbya, and Yangon would get a frosty reception.
“Visitors can walk along the road but are not allowed to enter the village. If people from our village go to other cities and come back, we are planning to quarantine them in places like schools,” he said.
Similar arrangements have reportedly been made in other villages.
Out-of-towners are not allowed to stay overnight in Kyauktaw Township’s Shwe Pyi Thit, Kyaukgusu, Alekyun and Tharzi villages, said U Tun Tun Myint, an administrator of Shwe Pyi Thit village.
“Prevention is more effective than cure. If there was an outbreak of the virus in the villages, it would infect all the locals and it would be difficult to get medical treatment at this time. That is why visitors are restricted from entering and leaving the village,” he explained.
A notification from the relevant administration in Pauktaw Township indicates that restrictions on entry and exit from villages are planned, and visitors from townships where stay-at-home orders have been imposed will be placed under home quarantine, according to the township administrator, U Khin Maung Soe.
“We have instructed village officials to restrict entry and exit at the villages. Visitors from stay-at-home areas are required to enter the village only with the recommendation of the relevant authorities to have a home quarantine,” he added.
Travel from one area to another is limited to 10 days, during which time residents are required to abide by the Covid-19 regulations, said U Tun Thar Sein, a former Arakan State MP for Mrauk-U Township.
“Currently, the lockdown is for a maximum of 10 days. If the whole Arakanese people live patiently in the allotted time, it will become a disease-free area forever. If they do not abide by the instructions, the disease will spread to the whole of Arakan State and cause more trouble,” the ex-lawmaker told DMG.
As of July 18, a total of 1,436 Covid-19 cases and 41 deaths were reported in Arakan State during the pandemic’s ongoing third wave, which began in May.