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Laos At High Risk Of Major Outbreak, Officials Warn

Source: Vientiane Times

Although the number of new Covid cases is continuing to fall, further community outbreaks remain a great concern in Vientiane.

In addition, a large number of new cases are being reported in neighbouring countries, especially in Thailand, where the Indian variant of the virus has been found in Udon Thani province, not far from the Lao border.

According to a report in Thailand’s The Nation newspaper, the daily death toll from Covid-19 reached a new June high of 43 deaths on Thursday, with 2,310 new infections. Of the total new Covid-19 cases, 102 have occurred in prisons.

“Laos is still placed at a high risk for a major outbreak,” Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Ministry of Health, Dr Sisavath Southanilaxay, told a press conference on Thursday.

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“We need to comply with all of the government’s guidelines to contain the spread of the virus, otherwise we won’t overcome the Covid-19 crisis.” 

To date, 1,975 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in Laos after four new infections were reported on Thursday. These occurred in Vientiane (2) and Champassak province (2 imported cases). Meanwhile, at least 1,800 people have been discharged from hospitals. The good news is that authorities have traced a 57-year-old man who tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.

Health officials had not been able to get in touch with the man after getting the test result because of inaccuracies in his contact details. An appeal went out on social media in a bid to track him down before he could pass on the virus to other people.He was eventually traced to Nongsanokham village in Vientiane’s Sikhottabong district.

Two other people had been in close contact with him, one of whom also tested positive on Thursday while the other was placed in quarantine. As a result, authorities have classified Nongsanokham village as a new red zone, bring the total number of red zones (villages with one or more infections) in Vientiane to 18.

Another person who was identified as having the virus on Thursday lives in an apartment in Tamixay village, Xaythany district.
Tamixay remains a red zone, with authorities blocking the road into the village to prevent people entering and leaving, except for essential purposes such as to buy food and medicine.

Members of the public have been urged to follow government guidelines until no new case has been reported for a period of 28 days.

Anyone who has come into contact with an infected individual should get tested for the virus.