Myanmar’s military government on Friday lifted the ban on foreign visitors from April 17 by allowing international passenger flights to operate as normal after suspension for over two years.
The Central Committee on Covid-19 controlled by military chief Min Aung Hlaing lifted all directives to prevent importation of coronavirus to the Southeast Asian country through air travel which became in effect from March 29, 2020. The junta cited “significant drop in new Covid cases and deaths” and said the lifting aimed to develop tourism sector and facilitate easy entry for foreigners.
The order came after the Ministry of Industry announced the success of Myancopharm, a locally-produced Covid vaccine, in cooperation with China National Pharmaceutical Group that manufactured the WHO-approved Sinopharm vaccine. The ministry plans to distribute 10 million vaccine doses in 2022-23 fiscal year starting April and will start distributions from early next month.
On top of a spiraling economy driven by clashes with ethnic armed groups, foreign investors cutting ties and international sanctions imposed after 2021 February coup, Myanmar has reported 608,384 Covid cases and 19,420 deaths so far. The World Bank expected in its latest report that Myanmar’s Covid transmission could be higher in some rural areas, particularly near the border with India.