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Laos Cautiously Optimistic Over Covid-19 / 4.5.2020

Source: Vientiane Times

The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing worldwide and there are thousands of deaths each day, but in Laos the virus has been contained and there have been no new confirmed cases for at least three weeks.

However, some prevention and control measures that were previously enforced are still in place to prevent a second wave of infections.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office has announced it will ease some restrictions from May 4-17, with the new ruling agreed to on May 1.
Deputy Minister of Health Dr Phouthone Muongpak has asked everyone to respect the ruling and to continue to take precautions against the virus.

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Although travel restrictions are still in place for some groups of people, as of 5pm on May 3 a total of 636 people including Lao workers had entered Laos from Thailand, while 26 individuals and truck drivers entered Laos at Champassak province. Seventeen truck drivers entered from China as well as 562 from Vietnam. No one entered Laos at Wattay International Airport.
Health checks are being carried out at every border crossing to test for Covid-19 symptoms.

On May 3, 26 Lao nationals crossed into Laos from Thailand, comprising 20 residents of Champassak, five from Saravan and one from Savannakhet. They are now being quarantined in special centres set up in their provinces, where they will remain for 14 days.

Also on May 3, samples taken from 39 people were tested for Covid-19. Fourteen people were suspected of having the virus, including 13 from Vientiane and one person from Vientiane province, but all the tests were negative.

The other 25 people tested were Lao nationals returning from Thailand, of whom 18 have homes in Champassak, four live in Vientiane, and one each hails from Luang Prabang, Xieng Khuang and Savannakhet provinces.

From January to May 3, a total of 2,223 people were tested for the virus, with 19 people testing positive. However, for the past 22 consecutive days since April 12 there have been no new confirmed cases.

In a bid to keep the virus at bay, everyone returning to Laos from another country is required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

There are 137 quarantine centres around the country where 617 people are being accommodated, while 358 people are self-isolating.

Samples taken from 745 people were recently tested for Covid-19 but all the results were negative.

Nine of the 19 people who contracted the virus are still in Mittaphab Hospital in Vientiane while nine people have been discharged from hospital and are now at home. The other individual was readmitted to Mittaphab Hospital after again testing positive for the virus following her recovery.

As of 6 pm on May 4, Covid-19 had spread to 212 countries. A total of 3,561,887 people have been infected with the virus while 80,516 new infections have been recorded and 248,084 people have died. Figures also show that 1,152,993 people have recovered.

Asean countries are still reporting new infections and deaths, with some recording a total of 657 new infections and 21 deaths on May 3.