State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held a video conference with first prize winners of her homemade cotton mask competition yesterday from the meeting room of the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw.
She had discussions with Dr Kyaw Kyaw Win (a) Eric Yang from the United States of America who won the First Prize for Most Liked by the Public award, Daw Phyu Phyu Nyein Chan (Shin Nyein Mel) who won the Most Interesting Idea award, U Myo San Oo (a) Myo Gyi from Japan for the Best Creation award and Daw Kyi Kyi Win for the Best Serving the Public Interest award.
After words of greetings from the State Counsellor, Dr Kyaw Kyaw Win presented his suggestions on how to live in line with the ‘New Normal’ in tandem with COVID-19 in the social, economic and education sectors, as well how to strictly comply with social distancing needs with relentless efforts.
Daw Phyu Phyu Nyein Chan, Managing Director from the Poland Head Office of ASEAN DMA Centre, living in Kamayut Township, explained how she had established her organization to care for orphans; her feelings and aspirations as a single mother, providing assistance to pregnant women with “metta”; difficulties encountered in caring for orphans; providing awareness programmes for children about COVID-19.
U Myo San Oo (a) Myo Gyi, the Manager of Tetsu 20 Company in Japan, explained his objective in taking part in the homemade cotton mask competition; the participation of Myanmar contestants from Japan; the use of homemade cotton masks in Japan; and the employment situation in Japan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Daw Kyi Kyi Win from Wundwin Township explained her main reasons for entering the competition; free distribution of her homemade cotton masks; mask design and raw materials used in making the masks. In her response, the State Counsellor said that the most challenging problem in relation with COVID-19 was social distancing as this lifestyle was not practical in daily life; a doctor has to treat not only physical but mental needs ; it was necessary to understand the mental needs to be able to treat the physical condition; presently thousands of returnees came back through the Myawady border town; according to available information, tens of thousands of Myanmar migrant workers were expected to return home from this route; the returnees who came back through the border crossings had to be transported to their respective states and regions; it was difficult to conduct medical tests on all of them, but they were held in quarantine facilities in their areas; there would be a huge challenge for the country in the coming two or three months; medical tests must be carried out thoroughly and care must be taken in controlling the disease and giving treatments to the positive cases; and that it would be difficult for the returnees once the monsoon sets in.
The State Counsellor added that it was earlier planned to give only one award in this competition and that all of the more than 20,000 participants should get a prize; however, arrangements were being made to send them souvenir cards; the categories of the award in this competition were the Most Liked by the Public award, the Most Interesting Idea award, the Best Creation award and the Best Serving the Public Interest award.
She continued to say that the reason society did not accept the “single mother” concept was related how the community placed a value on it; she had encountered this problem in her childhood; that she had never been taught to discriminate; they should not feel inferior and she hoped that the community would not look down on them; the real problem was not the problem itself, the problem was not being able to find a solution.
She added that most Myanmar people could not afford to use disposable face masks, and that was why people were encouraged to make their own masks; as it was not known how long the disease was going to last, as these masks could be reused, just by having three or four of these masks would serve the purpose; masks should be worn systematically; patients should be given treatment with sympathy, and discipline should be maintained with metta (loving-kindness). At the village and ward levels, she wished that COVID-19 preventive measures would be carried with the participation of everyone.
In her concluding remarks, the State Counsellor said that she frequently remarked that public participation was essential for the success of any work, and that people must have community spirit without becoming too egoistic; COVID-19 was a huge challenge for all; she wanted Myanmar citizens to become united as a result of this challenge; future plans should be formulated correctly; the current situation had allowed Myanmar to show more clearly what kind of a country Myanmar was to those who had been giving pressure on Myanmar due to many reasons; every citizen of Myanmar could help in overcoming COVID-19 by making a mask; that was why each person was important; she was very happy and encouraged to have this online meeting; she wanted to urge everyone to continue the cooperation; it was necessary to teach children at an early age how to cultivate “metta”, to understand each other, and to have compassion and goodwill. Finally, she said she wanted everyone to participate and cooperate in this programme to overcome COVID-19. (Translated by Kyaw Myaing)