UWSA Implements Travel Restrictions to Combat Spread of COVID-19 

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To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) has issued temporary restrictions on traveling to area under their control as of March 26. 

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Photo by SHAN/UWSA အဝင်ဂိတ်

Nyi Rang, who is in charge of the UWSA’s Lashio-based liaison office, said that the organization has restricted entry to their area through border gates. 

“We will start it tomorrow. The restrictions depend on how well we are able to control COVID-19. We will allow people to exit the Wa region, but we won’t allow people to come into our region,” he told SHAN on Thursday. “If travelers are ethnic Wa people, we will allow them into our region, but they will be monitored for 14 days.” 

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Photo by RFA

There have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Wa self-administered region thus far. According to Nyi Rang, the Wa authorities have launched an awareness campaign in their territory about the pandemic. 

The Wa region shares a border with Yunnan Province in China, the country where the virus is believed to have originated. 

Burma confirmed its first three coronavirus cases this week, in Chin State and Yangon. The true numbers of those who may be infected are not known, due to a lack of testing technology available, and weak health infrastructure throughout the country. 

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