Special COVID-19 Update #1

Please see below for special coronavirus (COVID-19) updates collated by AMCHAM Myanmar

The U.S. Embassy has released information relevant for business travelers and U.S. citizens. Please visit their website for more information

The Ministry of Health and Sports has up-to-date information available on their website. 

Key Information

  • Myanmar has not confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

  • Currently, there has been no change in the availability of fuel, food, or water in Myanmar due to COVID-19.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • International flights from Myanmar to regional flight hubs remain open and available. Flights to/from China have been reduced due to low demand.

  • Myanmar has closed official land border crossings between China and Myanmar.

  • There has been no change in entry/exit visa requirements for U.S. citizens in Myanmar.

  • The Myanmar government suspended the issuance of all visas-on-arrival for Chinese nationals.

  • E-visas and visas issued at Myanmar Embassies for Chinese nationals remain available, but additional procedures apply prior to approval.

  • The Myanmar government is conducting temperature and travel history screening at all ports of entry. If a U.S. citizen arrives to Myanmar with a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, they may be subject to quarantine at a Myanmar government public hospital.

  • Private businesses and schools in Myanmar are voluntarily conducting temperature screening. These institutions may deny services to individuals, including U.S. citizens, with fevers based on their own decisions.

Quarantine Information

  • The Myanmar government has established isolation units at most public hospitals across Myanmar. 

  • Depending on the severity of the suspected cases, the Myanmar government may relocate COVID-19 patients to larger regional hospitals in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, or Mandalay.

Local Resources

  • Fact-check information you read about COVID-19 in Myanmar. The Myanmar government regularly publishes English-language information about COVID-19 in The Global New Light of Myanmar state-run newspaper.

  • The Ministry of Health and Sports is sharing live updates and additional information from the World Health Organization. Please visit their website for more information

Business and Economic Impact

The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore), in partnership with Sandpiper Communications, released the findings of its COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. The survey is available on their website for anyone to access. 

Key findings include: 

  • COVID-19 has “greatly impacted” business operations in Singapore for 21% of companies and “somewhat” impacted another 57%.

  • Almost 32% of companies reported that COVID-19 has impacted their Asia Pacific business operations to a great extent.

  • Companies are limiting ways staff could potentially be exposed to COVID-19 with 82% of companies putting off business travel out of Singapore.

The survey finds that, as expected, the impact to businesses is tangible. Most companies will see a hit to their business operations and revenues as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and many are changing their business plans for 2020. However, surveyed companies report, the disruption is manageable. Many firms are mitigating risk by cancelling staff travel, implementing precautionary protocols to protect their employees at work, and cancelling or postponing large-scale events. The large majority, however, are not permanently repatriating foreign staff to their home countries outside of Singapore or laying off employees.

More Analysis from the Region 

For an analysis of the coronavirus by the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), click here. For the analysis of the corovavirus by the China Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussing the economic impact and corporate responses in China and the knock-on effects around the region, click here.

A new flash survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AMCHAM China) reveals an early look at how the outbreak is affecting U.S. businesses with operations in China. Among the key findings were widespread reports of travel delays and productivity declines. Nearly one-third of respondents say they are facing increased costs and significantly reduced revenueClick here for the full results.

Economic Impact In the U.S. and Around the World (from the US Chamber)

Drag On Global Growth, Modest Impact in U.S.

The spread of the coronavirus is a drag on global growth, which includes the United States. Growth in the United States will likely drop in the first quarter by 0.1% to 0.3%. Under this scenario, growth could fall under 2% in the first quarter.

China to Likely See Growth Fall Between 2% and 6%

Right now, some forecasters are predicting growth in China to fall from between 5% and 6% to between 2% and 3% in the first quarter, but that number could be substantially lower. Growth should rebound somewhat in the second quarter if the outbreak is contained soon, workers return to work, and factories resume production at meaningful levels.

The continuing spread of the virus in Japan, Korea, Italy, and other markets is generating additional demand shocks and supply chain disruptions, with corresponding downside risk for U.S. and global growth.  Some forecasters are warning of steep declines in U.S. corporate profits for 2020.

Rebound Likely Once Virus Is Contained

When the virus is contained, there will be a bounce back in growth in China and elsewhere that makes up for lost output. The longer the spread continues, the longer it will take to see that rebound.

Prevention Measures

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidanceto help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of viral infection is by thorough hand washing. Watch this video to make sure you are doing your part and practicing good hand washing techniques.

Prevention Recommendations for International Travelers 

  • China is experiencing widespread community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.

  • Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.

  • Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.

  • Travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.

  • Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should call ahead before seeking medical care.

CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. This does not include Hong Kong, Macau, or the island of Taiwan.  There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Widespread, sustained community spread of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported in China. Sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and virus transmission is ongoing.

Illness from this virus has ranged from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. This new coronavirus has caused severe disease and death in patients who developed pneumonia. Risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older adults and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.

On arrival to the United States, travelers from China will undergo health screening. Travelers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) will have an additional health assessment. Travelers who have been in China during the past 14 days, including US citizens or residents and others who are allowed to enter the United States, will be required to enter through specific airports and participate in monitoring by health officials until 14 days after they left China. Some people may have their movement restricted or be asked to limit their contact with others until the 14-day period has ended.

See the US Chamber’s Workplace Tips for Employees (two pages).

 

 

OSAC Briefing