Gradual Reopening Of Int’l Borders

Source: Vientiane Times

Authorities have announced they will begin reopening international borders with neighbouring countries as Laos recorded no new COVID-19 cases for 39 days on Thursday.

The international borders comprise China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Speaking at the daily media briefing on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Health, Associate Professor Dr Phouthone Muongpak said Lao citizens and foreigners will be permitted to enter and exit the country but must have the appropriate travel documents with authorisation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they must also respect the rules of the other nations.


Dr Phouthone noted that while his ministry was working to prevent any more COVID-19 cases, it was also campaigning to control dengue fever which remained an ongoing public health threat around the country.

The National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced five patients were still being treated in Mittaphab Hospital and were to be tested for a second time on Thursday. They will be allowed to return home if the results of the tests are negative. All of them have only mild symptoms.

The taskforce committee also urged society to comply with the announcements of the Prime Minister’s office fully and to continue public efforts to avert infections so additional restrictions could be eased after June 1.

On May 20, 2,278 people entered the country with most being truck drivers and Lao workers returning from the neighbouring countries of Thailand, China and Vietnam. All of were tested for the coronavirus, but the results were negative.

In line with government policy, everyone entering had their temperature checked and returning workers are required to spend 14 days in a quarantine centre.

From January to May 20, a total of 4,812 people were tested for the virus, with 19 people testing positive. Fourteen of these 19 people have recovered.
The government has set up 82 quarantine centres across the country where 2,868 people are now staying. Samples were taken from every individual and tested for COVID-19, but all yielded negative results.

According to figures from the taskforce committee, as of May 21 (at 6am), the coronavirus had spread to 213 countries and territories with 5,079,852 confirmed cases globally (96,915 new infections). The virus has claimed 329,179 lives while 2,019,617 people have recovered.

On May 20, combined Asean countries confirmed 693 new infections and 36 deaths.

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