By SAI HSENG LENG
Bus companies traveling the route between Taunggyi in Shan State and Burma’s administrative capital of Naypyidaw have stopped operating after an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country and corresponding restrictions in Naypyidaw.
On September 1, Burmese authorities announced that all travelers must have a recommendation letter from their respective village, ward and township in order to enter Naypyidaw, where Burma’s government is headquartered. They also are required to quarantine for 14 days, be tested for COVID-19, and await the results.
“Our bus won’t go to Naypyidaw. Bus lines have stopped going to Naypyidaw,” a staff member of the Doh Nyi Nawng bus company operating between Naypyidaw and Taunggyi, told SHAN.
A driver from Lashio in northern Shan State said that they have also stopped their bus lines going to Naypyidaw because of the strict travel restrictions, noting that they technically could operate but that it wasn’t worth the expense and risk.
“The authorities have not ordered bus lines to stop operations, but all travelers must stay in quarantine facilities. So we have stopped our bus line on our own,” he said.
Other bus companies will take travelers as far as Meiktila in Mandalay, and then travelers can continue to Napyidaw by motorbike taxi.
“It’s better to not travel at this time,” Taunggyi local Sai Arker told SHAN.
On Monday, Burma’s Ministry of Health and Sports had reported 1,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19, eight deaths, and 385 recoveries in the country.