New Delhi: Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to prime minister), has finally opened a Facebook account so she can share information and effectively communicate with citizens about the Covid-19 pandemic.
In her post late Wednesday, the Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote, “I didn’t want to use Facebook at all. At this time, it was created in order to communicate with people faster and more efficiently related to COVID-19 challenges.”
Her account was soon verified to establish its authenticity, and has been followed by more than 9.7 lakh people in less than 24 hours.
Myanmar has till now reported 16 cases of coronavirus and one death. According to a Reuters report, the country’s health ministry also warned of a “major outbreak” after tens of thousands of migrant workers returned from neighbouring Thailand.
The Nobel laureate also appeared in a video on state media, in which she washed her hands and instructed others to do the same to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier, government spokesperson Zaw Htay had said that the low number of reported infections of Covid-19 in the country was due to the “lifestyle and diet.”
Myanmar, which has many refugee camps, where the country’s Rohingya Muslims reside, could potentially be more vulnerable to the virus. Director of Human Rights Watch Brad Adams said, “Health conditions are already disastrous for displaced people in Rakhine, Kachin, and northern Shan camps, and now Covid-19 is threatening to decimate these vulnerable communities.”
China was Myanmar’s largest source of tourism in 2019
The coronavirus pandemic, first reported in China’s Wuhan city in Hubei Province in December 2019, has now spread to more than 200 countries in the world and infected more than 9.3 lakh people globally and led to the deaths of more than 47,000.
Myanmar shares a border with China that is more than 2,200 km long. According to Nehginpao Kipgen, an associate professor at the Jindal School of International Affairs, Myanmar had almost 750,000 Chinese visitors in 2019, which was its largest source of tourism.
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