Myanmar Suspends Domestic Flights, Imposes Curbs As Cases Soar

Myanmar suspended some domestic flights and imposed restrictions in some townships to fight a surge in Covid cases in the past two days, the Ministry of Health and Sports said.

Domestic flights between the commercial capital, Yangon, and at least five cities will be suspended for at least two weeks beginning May 29. Myanmar Airways International-Air KBZ Group, the nation’s largest private airline, said it would suspend operations in Tachileik, Kalay, Dawei, Myeik and Kawthaung.

Health minister Thet Khine Win warned of the possibility of a third virus wave as Myanmar reported 168 new Covid cases in 48 hours, mostly from the townships of Tonzang and Tamu. The ministry imposed a stay-at-home order in the two townships, allowing people to leave only for work and health matters.

“We will make sure to contain the virus spread as soon as possible,” the minister was quoted as saying by state broadcaster MRTV, citing a rise in cases along the border with Thailand. Since April 27, Myanmar has banned visitor entry from neighboring India and Bangladesh.

Myanmar has reported more than 143,000 Covid cases, including more than 3,200 deaths. As of mid-May, the country had given nearly 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines. It also has approved Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin vaccines.

Myanmar will also allow imports of WHO-approved vaccines that are widely used in the region, the ministry said in a statement.

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