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Laos Confirms New Covid-19 Case

Source: Vientiane Times

A foreign national working in Laos has tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of cases in the country to 11.

Authorities said the latest positive case was that of a 55-year-old citizen of Papua New Guinea who is an employee of Phu Bia Mining Limited. His sample was among those of 31 people on Saturday. 

The man is currently in the intensive care unit at Mittaphab Hospital.

Before the new case was detected, Laos had recorded no new Covid-19 cases for three consecutive days. 

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control told a daily news briefing on Sunday that the man who tested positive had travelled from Papua New Guinea to Laos via Singapore and Thailand. 

After a stopover in Singapore on March 22, he arrived in Laos via Thailand the following day. He stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane during March 23-24.

The Standing Deputy Head of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Dr Phouthone Muongpak, said the man then travelled by a company car to Phubia, where he began work on March 25.

Accompanying this infected man on the same vehicle were 11 other people. He also worked and was in close contact with about 100 people, Dr Phouthone added.

The man had fever, coughing, sore throat and headache on April 3. At 10 am on April 4, he went to Mittaphab Hospital for a check-up. His sample was collected and he was found to have been infected by the Coronavirus.

From January to April 4, some 604 people were tested and 11 were found to be infected.

Authorities also looked into the cases of 89 people who were in close contact with infected people on Saturday, and they tracked 127 people for for 14 days. 

On the same day, samples were collected from 47 Lao workers who had returned from Thailand and three suspected cases were reported. 

Authorities said they are taking extensive steps to trace everyone who was in contact with citizen of Papua New Guinea. A team has been sent to Phubia to investigate and  gather information about those who were in close contact with him. 

Information is also being gathered about those who were in the flight from Thailand from Laos, at the Crowne Plaza  Hotel for the two nights when the man stayed there, the 11 people who were in the corporation’s van that took the man from the hotel to the company, and about 100 colleagues who work closely with him. 

In addition, authorities are sanitising the van, and the man’s work place and accommodation.

As of April 5, the Coronavirus has spread to 205 countries and there are more than one million confirmed cases around the world. The virus has claimed 64,288 lives. More than 246,258 people have recovered.