Locals in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township demonstrated in Myitkyina this week, demanding that the government restrict travel from China due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Some 500 people from various villages in Waingmaw participated in the protest in Sein Mya Ayar Park.
“It’s really important to control this disease in our country. China still cannot control the spread of this disease,” Thura, who participated in the demonstration, told KNG.
Participants called for the border gates between Kachin State and China to be closed during the health scare. They remain open.
Zaw Win, the minister of Kachin State’s immigration ministry, said that there was not currently a plan to close the border gates and that such a call needed to be made by the Union government in order for it to go ahead.
“We haven’t closed the border gates since the beginning of the outbreak of this disease. We have made medical checks at gates if needed,” he told KNG. “If the Union government doesn’t give the order, we won’t close the border gates. We can’t close the border gates.”
While most of the 2,800 deaths from coronavirus have occurred in China, where it was first identified, many new cases are occurring in countries outside of China, particularly in Italy and South Korea. There are now a total of 82,000 cases globally, in more than 50 countries.