Weekly Press Release (10/2021)

30 July 2021

1. The NUG Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has made the statement 2/2021 regarding the situation of prisoners (24 July 2021). The Ministry calls for the provision of health services for prisoners in accordance with fundamental human rights and an immediate stop to violent oppression against prisoners. The authorities are warned that they will be held accountable for such violence. Although COVID-19 infections in prisons are increasing, the military junta has failed to take measures regarding prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19 in prisons. Prisoners have also been suffering various forms of oppression and restrictions. Therefore, prisoners and detainees in Insein prison in Yangon organized peaceful protests on the morning of 23 July 2021.

The junta does not provide adequate health care for prisoners and detainees. They are not allowed any forms of communication with family members. The regime has been suppressing them by using wanton force, torturing, and killing them brutally. However, international organisations and media are not allowed to examine these cases. The thuggish military junta and prison authorities are fully responsible for these criminal acts and human rights violations, including withholding the information on these cases. They will be held accountable for their crimes. Prison authorities need to protect the fundamental rights of all prisoners and detainees. They must safeguard adequate health care provisions for all people in prisons and respect their human dignity and rights to life as a matter of urgency. The ministry requests information and evidence on such incidents to be reported via its web page https://mohai.nugmyanmar.org using the information on the contact section. The ministry will continue to ensure that it provides remedies for victims of such abuses and crimes and brings the perpetrators to justice.

2. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) has appointed U Maw Tun Aung as Deputy Minister of the NUG Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

3. U Toe Aung and U Maw Tun Aung were sworn in as Union Auditor General and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, respectively, in front of the CRPH, today at 10.00 am

4. The NUG Ministry of Health and ethnic health organisations joined to form the COVID-19 Task Force (CTF) to respond to the pandemic in Myanmar (17 July 2021). Union Ministers and persons from the CTF explained about COVID-19 response measures during the press conference 3/2021 of the National Unity Government held on 25 July. The NUG Ministry of Health has been coordinating with all representatives of ethnic health organisations (EHOs) three times a week and once a week with the General Strike Committee. The ministry regularly meets representatives of states and regions to coordinate the measures regarding prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19.

The Union Minister of the NUG Ministry of Health and EHOs have been discussing with the United Nations organisations and partner organisations to obtain COVID-19 vaccines for Myanmar. We are currently calling for healthcare professions to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme and creating a database of people who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Ministry of Health is also working together with the Ministry of Communications, Information and Technology to collect information on covid-related deaths. The ministry has received the public donation in a total of more than 236 million kyats in July and donated Oxygen concentrators, medicines, and supplies, including PPE and masks, COVID-19 test kits, and body bags to ethnic regions and other locations in need of support.

The ministry is also providing necessary medicines for political prisoners. It has also released information on COVID-19 and breastfeeding, healthy eating to fight against COVID-19 and guidelines regarding prevention, control, and treatment of COVID-19. More than 30,000 COVID-19 suspected cases have been receiving consultations and treatments via COVID-19 Telegram Channel (https://facebook.com/telehealthmm) of the NUG Ministry of Health in the period from 16 July to 28 July. The ministry has also launched an exclusive COVID-19 Telegram Channel for participants of Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and revolutionary groups on 24 July and offered consultations and treatments daily from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm.

In addition to TeleHealth clinics of the NUG Ministry of Health, there are also more than 46 health services and TeleHealth programmes managed by medical professionals who have been participating in the civil disobedience campaign. The ministry is also working with charities and organisations providing health services on the ground in states and regions. The covid-related information published on https://facebook.com/MoHNUGMyanmar the Facebook page of the ministry has reached more than five million people in July. More than two million people have accessed its COVID-19 Knowledge Centre https://facebook.com/ckcmohnugmm on Facebook between 4 July and 28 July. The ministry has been running covid-related programmes via its website https://moh.nugmyanmar.org and social media daily.

The ministry has been broadcasting interviews under the ‘From people to people’ programme, interviews on the myths related to COVID-19 treatments, and weekly COVID-19 webinar series. Ten webinars have been delivered so far and the ministry will continue the programme. The ministry’s ‘Right to Breathe’ campaign and ‘Stop arrests and tortures of medical professionals’ campaign have gained momentum. The ministry has also found out that actual numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths during Myanmar’s COVID-19 third wave is three or four timers higher than official numbers released by the military junta.