Mon State Govt to Press Charges Against Returnees Who Do Not Quarantine

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Mon State government announced this week that they will take legal action against people who return to the region after being abroad but who do not quarantine, light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The local order was released on March 28, and calls for people to stay in a community-based quarantine facility for 14 days after coming back from another country as of March 22.

“If people do not participate or follow this rule, we are going to charge these people with violating criminal acts, the anti-contagious disease law, and the disaster management law,” director of the Mon State government Myint Than Win told NMG.

There are more than 15,000 people, who have returned to Mon State from a foreign country recently—mostly from Thailand—but only 3,475 people have reportedly been placed in the required quarantine. The statistics were released by the state government on March 29.

According to Myint Than Win, there are 121 quarantine centers in Mawlamyine District and 232 quarantine centers in Thaton District. Therefore, there are total of 353 community-based quarantine facilities in the state.

There have been 1,809 people put in quarantine in Mawlamyine and 1,666 in Thaton.

“We gave a directive to the district, township and village administration bodies to make sure all returnees are reported and put in a community-based quarantine center. To prevent this pandemic, they need to participate with us,” state government director Myint Than Win told NMG.

The Burmese ministry of health reported that on March 19, a person tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the country from Thailand through the border crossing at Myawaddy. Among the thousands that returned, many were headed to Mon State.

“Many people returned from Thailand through official routes and other routes, too. Some people do not want to participate in a quarantine for 14 days. They are traveling as usual,” Mudon resident Aung Mon told NMG. “Can the government effectively control it? I am so worried about safety for these people who have returned from Thailand. I cannot imagine.”

On March 30, the Mon State public health department reported that there three patients are being monitored for potential coronavirus and 42 have been hospitalized.

At the time of reporting, 15 people nationwide had tested positive for the virus. It is not known how many people may have contracted the virus but have been unable to get tested.