The Statement of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) on COVID-19 Second Wave Statement No.12 / 2020

1. The MNHRC, in its statement No.5/2020, recognized the relentless and effective efforts of the Government to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, winning kudos from the international community. However, the resurgent COVOD-19 infections in the country since the middle of August have given rise to great concern among the people. Furthermore, it is worth observing that the current infections spread faster than those in March and April. The MNHRC is greatly heartened to note that the Government is addressing the people’s concern with renewed and decisive efforts. Following the policy of leaving no one behind, the Government’s responses to COVID-19 have been absolutely free of discrimination. Despite that, the impact on certain groups and individuals , such as older persons, persons with underlying diseases, persons with disabilities, minority groups, communities in remote areas , and persons under detention , is bound to be different, and accordingly warrants special tailored measures in the Government’s response to those groups and persons. Furthermore, women and girls have particular needs during COVID-19. For example, job losses in the garment sector have significant financial impact on women and girls while confinement and lockdowns may increase the burdens on them.
2. Access to information is also critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The provision of information on COVID-19 by the Government, including preventive measures and hygienic practices and timely directives from the Ministry of Health and Sports and relevant regional authorities are significant steps in the right direction.
3. The Government has made every effort to slow down and stop the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, closures of small streets in the wards by over-concerned local authorities seen on social media platform have caused misgivings. It is necessary for local authorities to implement the directives on COVID-19 strictly so that the public will also become more willing to follow them. The MNHRC would like to urge the people to scrupulously abide by the Government’s directives in the spirit of full cooperation at this juncture to overcome the crisis of COVID-19 in the shortest possible time.
4. The MNHRC continues to extend its full support for the Government’s on-going efforts to prevent and address COVID-19 while protecting the human rights of everyone in Myanmar.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Date: 15 September2020