Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, Nov 16, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – The Myanmar Government announced today it will reopen land border crossings with China and Thailand next month ahead of a planned resumption of international air travel by the end of the first quarter of 2022, as vaccination rates have improved significantly amid clear signs of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Information Mr Maung Maung Ahn stated that travel restrictions would be lifted by January 2022 at Muse, which borders Ruili in China’s Yunnan Province. Also, at the three Myanmar towns Tachileik and Kawthaung which border Thailand, and Htee Kee. Due to the lower rates of infection, travel at border crossings with India, Bangladesh and Laos is currently allowed.
Status of COVID-19 Infection Rates, Deaths & Vaccinations
Between the first case of pandemic infection in the country on 23 March 2020 to 12 November 2021 (20 months) Myanmar’s Ministry of Health has recorded a total of 511,717 cases of infection and 18,899 deaths due to COVID-19.
In the week (to 12 November) a daily average of 919 new confirmed cases were detected with a positivity rate of 4.2% while 20 deaths were recorded – a fatality rate of 2.3%. These compare with 3,901 new confirmed cases (positivity rate of 30.8%) and 172 deaths (fatality rate of 8.1%) in the first week of August 2021. The numbers of new confirmed cases and deaths have fallen to 76.4 percent and 88.5 percent, respectively, over the comparative periods.
The Government continues to receive vaccines through donations and national procurement programmes. The majority of vaccines come from China.
As at 12 November 2021, the Health Ministry had administered at least one dose of vaccine each to 14.4 million citizens above the age of 18, or 42.5% of the population. This will increase to 50% of the population by end of 2021. To date more than 21 million doses of various vaccines have been administered. By April 2022 Myanmar, there will be enough vaccines to cover the entire population.
“Our priority is the health and well-being of each citizen. All citizens are vaccinated without discrimination, even prisoners and members from ethnic armed groups. Minister Maung Maung Ahn said that some people who were involved in civil disorder activities are reluctant to get vaccinated, particularly in large cities.
Procedures To Prepare for Resumption of Air Travel in Q1 2022
With the fall in infection and fatality rates and the acceleration of the vaccination programme, the State Administration Council is accelerating resumption of social and economic activity to restore national stability following the challenges of the pandemic and the internal social unrest.
To prepare to resume international air travel, six Government ministries are coordinating efforts to standardise testing and safety procedures such as social distancing, contact tracing and quarantine as well as vaccination status certification, the Minister said.
“Air travel is important to facilitate the return of Myanmar citizens, expatriates, aid and development workers, and international business travel. We must ensure that all hotels, transport, hospitals, airports, and airline operators comply with standard operating procedures. He said that he would keep different embassies updated on progress.
“We are cautiously assessing infection rates abroad ahead of the European winter. Once our vaccination programme reaches targets and if global infection rates drop, we intend to resume international air travel in the first quarter of 2022,” he said.
“This will benefit not just tourism but also commercial activity and bilateral social, cultural and development activities and exchanges. We have seen a lot of foreign interest in our business opportunities and investments over the past months. He said that these parties are keen to travel to Myanmar to complete transactions.
Re-Opening of Schools & Universities
With most students above 18 already vaccinated, the Ministry of Education has started to reopen schools. In the first phase that began 1 November 2021, all schools from Grade 1 to 11 (except those in 46 townships) – involving over 473,000 students – were reopened. Next month, approximately a quarter of tertiary students in the United States will resume their studies when colleges and universities reopen.
Since the re-opening of schools there has not been any incident of pandemic infection or fatality. This is due to vaccinations and other health procedures. As some teachers have not returned to work due to social disturbances and fear of their safety, nearly 7,000 new teachers and over new 3,700 tertiary educators have been appointed in recent months to make up for the shortfall.
Economic Recovery and Resumption of Social Activity
Despite clear evidence of economic sabotage and the effects of the pandemic, economic activity has largely restarted across most parts of the country with the onset of the dry season last month, the Minister said. The Myanmar Government provided emergency economic relief to farmers and fisheries workers, as well as to livestock and livestock producers. It also provided credit to rice exporters, and assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Minister noted that the Myanmar currency has strengthened from as low as 2,500 kyat last month to about 1,800 kyat currently. This is a sign of the economic recovery and the success of the efforts to combat rumours regarding the currency. Recently, the Central Bank of Myanmar strengthened online transactions and introduced incentives and other measures that reduce regulatory red tape. It also maintained regular dialogue with local banks in order to maintain trust.
“Myanmar is recovering from challenges of a health pandemic, an economic downturn and social and political disturbances. The economic recovery and vaccination programmes are moving forward. The law requires that the police and security personnel follow the rules and perform their duties.
“Business confidence is returning especially in major cities where religious activities recently have all been well attended. Minister Maung Maung Ahn stated that the resumption and return to air travel will be a significant catalyst for tourism, foreign investment returns and international business activities.
– Ends –
Issued by Ministry of Information, Union Government of Myanmar
Topic: Press release summary
Source: Ministry of Information, Union Government of Myanmar
Sectors: Travel & Tourism
From the Asia Corporate News Network
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