Source: Vientiane Times
Lao people are hoping that the government will be able to control the spread of Covid-19 after only one new case of the virus was reported on Monday.
Vientiane, where the country’s first community outbreak was reported, has recorded zero cases for the first time since the virus outbreak erupted in mid-April.
The single new case that was reported on Monday occurred in Champassak province and brings the total number of Covid cases in Laos since March last year to 1,912, of whom three people have died.
The government has battled against the invisible virus for more than a month, imposing a lockdown for the third time in a bid to keep the virus in check.
Hopes are now rising following a gradual decline in the number of new cases in recent weeks.
On Saturday, only three new cases were confirmed, followed by three more on Sunday.
Speaking on behalf of the National Taskforce for Covid-10 Prevention and Control, Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control under the Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Soutthaniraxay, gave Vientiane Times an update on the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, he could not say whether the government would continue the lockdown, which is scheduled to end on June 4, or ease travel restrictions in the capital.
In principle, the lockdown would be lifted if no new cases of Covid-19 are recorded for a period of 14 days, he said.
“We think the government may lift the lockdown or ease some of the restrictions to reduce the impact on the economy and the effects on people’s livelihoods.”
Dr Sisavath said that while the number of new cases reported each day has dwindled to single digits, testing shows that case numbers are continuing to rise and fall.
Meanwhile, people have been urged to continue to comply with all measures imposed by the national Covid 19 taskforce to keep the virus under control.
The most recent positive test results were obtained after 2,002 samples were tested on May 30. In the meantime, more than 1,500 people have been discharged from hospitals.
In the Asean bloc, Thailand has recorded the highest number of cases with 4,528 new infections on May 31, bringing the total number to 154,307, of whom 1,012 people have died.
Myanmar recorded 45 new infections on May 31, bringing the total to 43,571, including 3,216 deaths.
Vietnam announced 251 new infections on May 31, bringing the total to 7,107, of whom 45 people have died and 2,853 have recovered.