YANGON — Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led national level COVID-19 response team announced on Monday afternoon that the government will provide basic food for those struggling across the country during the 10-day New Year holiday from this week amid heavier restrictions on movement to curb the coronavirus spread.
So far Myanmar has reported 22 positive cases with one fatality.
The announcement came after the State Counselor’s request for citizens to stay at home during the Thingyan Water Festival, the largest event in Myanmar’s calendar, to prevent the spread of the disease.
The April 10 to 19 holiday follows further restrictions on residents’ movements, including orders for people to stay at home, shutting down public transport and banning gatherings.
Thingyan normally allows many families to earn money by selling food and beverages to revelers.
In the announcement on Monday, the COVID-19 Prevent, Control, Treatment Committee said from Friday the government would distribute rice, cooking oil, salt, beans and onions to those who lack a regular income during the holiday.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi previously posted on Facebook that she was aware of people’s concerns during the holiday and said the government was planning a solution.
Apart from food distribution, the government has promised to provide 150 free electricity units for domestic use until the end of April to encourage people to stay at home.