MYANMAR COUNTRY BRIEF as of 4/23/2020

Myanmar (Burma) (Yangon Region) is currently experiencing a military coup.

On February 1, 2021, Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing launched a military coup d’état. The military seized power, deposed the democratically elected government, and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other key leaders of the ruling NLD party.  The military took power the day the new Parliament, elected in flawed but legitimate elections on November 8, 2020, was scheduled to convene. The military leadership, falsely claiming widespread voter fraud during the elections, immediately declared a military caretaker government and state of emergency. The military regime alleged the coup was legal under the 2008 constitution.

Demonstrations and general strikes followed.  In response, the regime launched a brutal crackdown against the people of Burma, led by many of the same individuals largely responsible for previous abuses, including atrocities against Rohingya. The military has killed peaceful protesters, they have arrested and detained thousands, and there are disturbing reports of security forces using torture and sexual violence against those in detention.  The military has also moved to clamp down on fundamental freedoms and access to information, blocking access to social media sites, including Facebook, which is widely used in the country, and intermittently restricting access to the Internet in an attempt to stop popular protests and prevent reporting on human rights abuses.

The military has levied spurious charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, ostensibly to disqualify her from future office, and has detained multiple high-level advisors within the former NLD government in an apparent pressure campaign to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and her party.  In the face of brutal and lethal force used by the regime, the people of Burma have continued to make their voices heard and have disrupted the military’s ability to govern through a nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).  Although some business activity has since resumed, the coup has set off a banking and liquidity crisis that represents a significant threat to the broader economy. 

 

COVID-19 Information

Myanmar is still experiencing the "third wave" of COVID-19 and was hit hard by the Delta Variant. As of 29 September Myanmar had reported 447,333 positive cases of COVID-19 and 18,104 deaths related to the disease. All executives are met with a package containing hand-sanitizer, masks (surgical & N95) and an information card with phone numbers of local hospitals that have been vetted for the treatment of foreigners. We strongly recommend that all visiting executives have an International SOS card in case of the need for medical evacuation.

 

All of our Security Drivers have first aid training and are CPR certified. All of our vehicles are sanitized regularly and carry first aid kits, masks and hand sanitizer and I am implementing AEDs for our vehicles. All of our drivers conduct route surveys and are familiar with the locations of safe zones and where the clinics are that we feel are most suitable for treating foreign guests. 

Burma has the ability to test for COVID-19 infections domestically.

 

•There is a nationwide curfew in place, from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.  The government is actively enforcing this curfew. 

 

Yangon:

• Stay-at-home orders that originally went into effect April 25 remain in place for the following two Yangon townships: Mayangone and Insein.  The order contains exceptions for those who must “perform duties at government departments, organizations, companies, factories, and workshops.”  

•             Only vehicles transporting workers to and from their workplaces will be permitted to pass through the six townships. 

•             One person per household is permitted to leave the house for essential shopping or “unavoidable circumstances,” and two per household can leave to go to a hospital or clinic.  The number of vehicle passengers will be regulated accordingly.  Residents should seek approval from their ward administrator if there is a need for more than the designated number of people/passengers to leave their home or commute. 

•             Intra-provincial bus service is restarting, but service is not at normal levels.

•             All persons leaving their residence must wear a mask.

•             Health authorities are conducting spot health checks in all 33 Yangon municipal townships, and may order persons suspected of having COVID-19 into quarantine.