Myanmar leader appeals for patriotism in COVID-19 fight
Hmue Angel The Myanmar Times Thu, Apr 30, 2020
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appealed for patriotism among young doctors to help their countrymen overcome the challenge of COVID-19.
“I want doctors to support our country for a few years,” she said in a video conference on April 28 with a frontline medical doctor who is recovering from COVID-19, and two other recovering patients. “Our country is not rich. Serving our country is an act of expressing a debt of gratitude.”
The State Counsellor said that by serving in rural areas, young doctors would gain a lot of experience.
“By serving at the hospitals in rural areas, they will gain experience that they could not have if they work in the cities,” she said.
Since the first two COVID-19 cases were detected in the country on March 23, Myanmar’s de facto leader has been appearing on television and social media every night to try to soothe the nerves of edgy Myanmar citizens.
When people went into a buying frenzy hours after the announcement of the first two COVID-19 cases, the State Counsellor tried to reassure the public that the country had ample supplies of goods, and the panic buying stopped.
“The ability of the people to remain calm plays a pivotal role,” she said, promising accountability and transparency in the handling of the disease.
The State Counsellor did not hesitate to give a bigger role to the police, Tatmadaw (military) and the General Administration Department to enforce the quarantine and tracing of people exposed to COVID-19 patients.
The government has also enlisted the support of ethnic armed groups that have been waging armed struggle against the government for decades.
The President’s Office announced the formation of a committee to coordinate the effort against the disease with ethnic armed groups, which mostly control the border areas of the country.
U Tin Myo Win, head of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre, will chair the panel, and U Khin Zaw Oo, a member of the centre, was appointed vice chair.