Border Trade Disrupted By Coronavirus

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Trade in Muse that slowed down in recent weeks hasn’t recovered after the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, originating in the Chinese Hebei province, drastically reduced the numbers of Chinese traders visiting the border town in Burma.

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Photo by – ၸၢႆးၶိၼ်ႇမွင်

Sai Khin Maung, the chairperson of Fruit Trading Center, told SHAN the situation has been getting worse. He hopes things will stabilize soon.

Some Chinese are crossing the border to buy produce but they don’t want to pay higher costs for the best fruit, Sai Khin Maung said.

“They choose the top fruit but they don’t pay higher prices for the quality. Our vendors are losing out,” he said.

Many Burmese nationals are still travelling to China for work even though they’re risking infection of 2019-nCoV.

“For our people, filling their stomachs is stronger than their fears,” Sai Kyaw Thein, a Shan State MP for Muse constituency-1, told SHAN.

The MP estimates as many as ten-thousand are crossing the border for work everyday.

The Myanmar government announced it will create a contingency fund of 300 million kyats (US$206,000) to address cases of the  2019-nCoV, according to an article by Zarni Mann in the Irrawaddy. 

Although there are no confirmed infections, 28 patients under investigation across the country.

A lab for testing the 2019-nCoV is being set up and expected to become operational as earlier as February 20.

Globally there are 47,054 infected with 2019-nCoV, according to information obtained by the World Health Organization on February 13. The virus that has spread to 25 countries has killed 1,369 people, most of the fatalities have been in China.

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