YANGON, Myanmar

The Myanmar government on Thursday has imposed a lockdown measures in the capital city of the country’s western Rakhine state following a spike of local transmission of coronavirus cases.

A 26-year-old-woman tested positive in Sittwe on Sunday, the first local transmission after one-month hiatus as the last local transmission was found on July 17.

The Ministry of Health and Sports placed Sittwe under semi-lockdown with immediate effect on Thursday, after six new local transmissions of coronavirus were recorded in five days between Sunday and Thursday.

Of those, four patients have no overseas travel history and no recorded contact with people infected with coronavirus.

The restrictions encourage the public to stay at home but it does not apply to the employees including civil servants, companies’ staff and factory workers in Sittwe.

In Rakhine, a total of 22 COVID-19 cases were reported, mostly returnees from neighboring countries Bangladesh, Thailand and China.

The Myanmar government also instructed all four local airlines to cancel all flights to and from Sittwe, starting on Thursday.

As of Thursday, Myanmar has reported a total of 399 COVID-19 cases with 333 recoveries and six deaths.

Many businesses have returned to normal since late July after the government eased restrictions on domestic movements following the downward trend of COVID-19 infection in the first wave.

Myanmar, however, said there is great possibility for a severe outbreak of second wave due to the spread of infection with exhibiting no symptoms.

Restrictions on international travelers are still in place with a ban on all international commercial flights into the country’s airports that has been extended until the end of August.

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