Source: Vientiane Times
Laos has confirmed 32 new cases of Covid-19 cases, with three people testing positive for the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus.
The new cases were identified among 1,670 samples tested for the virus on July 1, Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Soutthanilaxay, told the daily press briefing on Friday.
The three cases of the Delta variant – two in Vientiane and another in Khammuan province – were all imported, the Lao Phatthana newspaper citing Dr Sisavath as saying.
The new cases bring the total number of infections in Laos to 2,176. Three people have died and 187 people are receiving treatment or are under observation in hospital.
Of the 32 new cases, three were recorded in Vientiane, five in Savannakhet, 15 in Champassak, one in Saravan, and three in Khammuan, all of which were recorded among Lao workers legally returning from a neighbouring country. Five new cases that were reported in Vientiane province were transmitted locally.
Lao authorities are imposing strict measures in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the virus amid the rapid rise in infections in neighbouring countries, where cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 are now surging.
Dr Sisavath said the Delta variant was transmitted much more quickly than other forms of the virus.
Officials say it is a challenge to bring the virus outbreak under control because some Lao nationals who work in neighbouring countries where the Delta variant is spreading are now returning to Laos.
“There is a risk that people who enter Laos could bring in the virus (Delta variant) and spread it in our country,” he told reporters.
On July 1, as many as 2,707 people entered Laos at various border checkpoints.
Four types of the virus are currently circulating in Laos – the original strain and the Alpha, Delta and Kappa variants, Dr Sisavath said.
He called for people from all walks of life to strictly observe the Covid-19 prevention and control measures in order to slow the virus outbreak.