• WFP is working closely with partners in support of the Government of Myanmar’s response to COVID-19. This includes the procurement of basic medical equipment and the provision of food assistance to quarantine sites for returnees.
• Based on demand, WFP stands ready to provide common logistics services support to the UN and humanitarian community, including supply chain coordination and an aviation service for passengers and cargo.
• Myanmar confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 on 24 March. According to the Ministry of Health and Sports, there are 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Myanmar as of 2 April, including seven of local transmission.
• The Government of Myanmar continues to ramp up efforts to increase its surveillance and prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include the prohibition of public gatherings, the temporary suspension of all international commercial flights and visa issuance for all foreign visitors, the closure of the land border with Thailand until further notice, and the imposition of a mandatory 14-day facility quarantine for all returnees from all border areas.
• WFP fully tested its Business Continuity Plan on 23-25 March and most staff members are now working from home.
• To minimise exposure to the risk of COVID-19, WFP has developed a set of standard operating procedures for inkind and cash distributions in the context of COVID-19. This includes an emphasis on hygiene practices, including the provision of hand sanitizers at distributions points and personal protective equipment (PPE) for WFP and cooperating partner staff, and the implementation of social distancing during distributions as far as possible.
• The World Health Organization/Ministry of Health and Sports/WFP messaging on COVID-19 and good hygiene practices is being disseminated at all distribution sites.
Food and Nutrition Assistance
• Starting from April, WFP is shifting its emergency relief assistance to a two-month ration in most of its operational areas, and a three-month ration in the hard-to-reach areas.
• As requested by the Yangon Regional Health Department, WFP is in the process of extending food and nutrition assistance to 4,000 people in quarantine shelters in Yangon. WFP is continuing discussions with the local authorities to confirm further support needs to quarantine sites in Kayin State (the southeast) and Shan State for returnees from Thailand. On 1 April, WFP has started the dispatch of food and non-food items (NFI) in coordination with the Yangon Regional Health Department.