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Factories, Businesses To Operate Amid Lockdown

Source: Vientiane Times

Factories and businesses at the heart of the Lao economy will be able to resume their operations amid the extended lockdown ordered by the Prime Minister to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The taskforce committee to resolve economic problems due to Covid-19 is expected to submit a report on this issue when the government holds its meeting for April on Thursday.

According to order No 06 of the Prime Minister, factories and businesses can continue to operate, but the measures put in place by them to protect workers from the Coronavirus must be verified by relevant authorities.

According to order No 06, dated March 29, the government initially directed people to stay at home for three weeks during April 1-19 to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

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Last week, Prime Minister Thongloun announced a 14-day extension of the lockdown.

During April 1-11, garment factories and businesses in the Xaysettha special economic zone had proposed to proceed with their operations due to this order.

However, only three businesses were allowed to resume operations because they met quality control standards and had measures to protect workers from Covid-19.

According to recommendations from the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, businesses must meet certain conditions to resume operations, such as having special areas at project sites, companies and factories to provide standardised accommodation to staff and employees.

They should also have separate location or single rooms to accommodate suspected cases of infections, and they must have a special vehicle to transport patients to hospital.

They should also have check points to screen the body temperature of workers and provide sanitiser to staff and employees to clean their hands both inside and outside the workplace, accommodation buildings and restaurants or canteens.

The businesses should compile the health status and temperature of workers in a notebook, and anyone found with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius, a cough or difficulty in breathing must be sent to the single rooms at the project sites, companies, and factories.

Then, the businesses should call the hotline number 165 or 166.
The workplaces must not be crowded and workers should maintain a distance of one metre or more. Face mask should be provided to all workers, and there must convenient spots for them to wash their hands.

The businesses must ensure the accommodation and canteens are not crowded. Staff shuttles must have seats that are at least one metre apart.
The businesses and factories must have a 24-hour security guard service and employees should not be able to go out of the complex without permission.

The businesses have also been directed not to hire domestic and overseas employees for new or temporary positions until the authorities are able to control the Coronavirus.