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Laos Confirms New Covid-19 Case, Bringing Total To 10

Source: Vientiane Times

A female Vientiane resident, 21, was confirmed today as being infected with coronavirus, bringing the total infections to 10 people.

The victim is a resident of Nongsanokham village in Sikhottabong district, Deputy Head of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak told the daily press briefing.

The new infected case was confirmed as the government’s three-week stay-at-home restriction measure (from April 1-19) begins to take effect to contain the virus.

The infected lady was among 31 suspected cases tested on March 31. The 30 others tested negative.
She was in close contact with the eighth victim, who is an employee of a firm called DHL.

Between March 27- 29, the lady suffered a sore throat, coughing, tiredness and breathing difficulties, causing her to self-medicate.

On March 30, the victim developed flu-like symptoms and suffered headaches and muscle aches. A day later, the lady went to Mittaphab Hospital for testing.

She was among seven Covid-19 patients being cared for at the hospital, which is designated for the virus treatment in Vientiane. Three other victims are being treated at Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital.

Eight people in close contact with the new victim have been tracked and placed under movement restrictions and were being closely monitored, according to Dr Phouthone.

Overall, 186 people who were in close contact with the 10 Covid-19 patients are currently under close monitoring. They comprise 24 people in northern Oudomxay province, 44 in Luang Prabang, and 118 people in Vientiane.

“They are all having their temperature taken in the morning and evening. They have no fever at present,” Dr Phouthone, who is also Deputy Minister of Health, told the media.

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Deputy Director of Mittaphab Hospital, Dr Vangnakhone Dittaphong said the 10 patients were in good condition and being given medicine to treat their symptoms.

Doctors and nurses are divided into teams taking care of the patients on a seven-day rotation. After one week of their mission, the team will be placed under quarantine and monitored for 14 days to check they are not infected and ensure they will not spread the virus.

“A new team will then replace them to treat and care for the patients,” Dr Vangnakhone said.

A Chinese medical team who arrived in Laos earlier this week have worked with local doctors and shared valuable lessons learned in dealing with the outbreak and treatment of the patients in China.

The Chinese doctors suggested their Lao counterparts provide oxygen to every patient even though they still received normal levels of oxygen through their natural breathing, Dr Vangnakhone stated.

As of March 31, some 437 suspected cases had been tested, including the 10 infected cases.

The suspected cases included 45 Lao workers who recently returned from neighbouring Thailand, where hundreds of people were reported infected. All the Lao workers tested negative.

As of March 31, reports showed that Covid-19 had spread to 202 countries and territories with 855,139 infected cases reported including 70,401 new cases, according to Dr Phouthone.

The virus has claimed more than 42,000 lives globally, and more than 176,900 patients have recovered.