Myanmar’s factories and businesses suffer under COVID-19 lockdown

10 May 2020
Myanmar’s factories and businesses suffer under COVID-19 lockdown
Myanmar workers wearing protective face masks work on an assembly line at Soueast motor plant in Yangon, Myanmar, 04 May 2020, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Many small and medium businesses and factories are in difficulty after the Myanmar authorities ordered to lockdown and social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.

The lockdown has had a serious effect on many factories that employ hundreds of thousands of people.

Bloomberg reports that the majority of the country’s 60,000 registered factories face irreversible damage if shutdown measures prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic are extended beyond May 15, according to the head of the nation’s largest manufacturing trade group. According to Aung Thein, president of the Myanmar Industries Association, many factories that have been unable to operate since early April may collapse if they are not able to operate after May 15.

Myanmar’s official COVID-19 cases currently stand at 176 with six deaths. At this stage it is unclear whether the government will extend the lockdown from May 15 or begin to ease up. It is unclear how widely the virus has spread around Myanmar. At this stage, the toll from the virus is small compared to many other countries.