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Covid-19 Claims One Life, 131 New Cases Reported

Source: Vientiane Times

A man has died after returning from neighbouring Thailand where he was tested positive for Covid-19, Lao authorities said on Sunday.

The latest death has taken the total tally of deaths in Laos to five.

The latest victim was a 49-year-old man who worked as a food vendor in Thailand. He tested positive on July 9, the Deputy Director of the Communicable Disease Control Department under the Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Soutthanilaxay, told a daily news briefing.

As treatment facilities in Thailand are overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients, the Lao man was required to wait for treatment. He then requested to be allowed to return to Laos for treatment.

On July 13, the man, a resident of Songkhone district in Savannakhet province, arrived in his home province and was sent for treatment. On the same day, he felt tired, had difficulty breathing and was suffering from fever and diarrhea. A test done in Laos produced a positive result.

On July 16, his condition worsened and he fell unconscious, and his feet and hands turn dark. He died on Saturday.

Dr Sisavath said 131 new cases had been detected among 2,356 people tested. As many as 123 were imported cases. Southern Champassak is the only province suffering a community outbreak with eight cases. All the new cases found in other provinces were imported. Of the new cases, 76 imported cases were in Savannakhet, 30 in Champassak, 10 in Saravan, seven each in Khammuan and the capital of Vientiane, and one in Borikhamxay.

The new cases have taken the overall total to 3,426 cases, including 1,132 being treated or observed.

Though community outbreaks appear to be declining in recent days, many new imported cases are being recorded daily as many Lao workers in Thailand are returning home due to a severe outbreak in the neighbouring country. To quarantine those returning and keep the virus in check, 48 quarantine centres have been set up across Laos. Currently, as many as 6,145 people are quarantined at these centres.

Thanks to the efforts and hard work of the authorities, the capital of Vientiane has been able to get rid of red and yellow (infection and risky) zones, according to Dr Sisavath.

However, the provinces of Champassak, Savannakhet and Khammuan have recorded many imported cases as Lao workers return from Thailand. The returnees were found carrying a quickly-communicable variant.

“We have found the Delta variant,” Dr Sisavath said.

In this regard, he called for local residents to strictly observe prevention and control measures to prevent outbreaks. Worldwide, more than 190.7 million people were reported infected with the virus, and there have been more than four million deaths. More than 173 million patients have been discharged.