Laos has detected its first case of Omicron variant of COVID-19, the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced Thursday.
Director-general of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh said in a special announcement on Thursday evening that the Omicron variant had been detected in a passenger arriving on flight AK7552 from Malaysia on Sunday.
The flight contained 42 people who were tested for COVID-19, with two people from the same family testing positive for the virus.
Both of them had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of the two positive cases, the Omicron variant was detected in a female passenger.
The infected had traveled from India, through Sri Lanka, transferring in Malaysia before arriving in Laos.
Meanwhile, the quarantine hotel where other passengers from flight AK7552 are staying has been instructed to take strict precautions, ensuring the individuals remain in their rooms at all times, in order to contain the spread of the variant.
Rattanaxay said the Ministry of Health will do its utmost to protect society from COVID-19 by accelerating the vaccination program to reach 70 percent of the population, including booster shots, as soon as possible.
He advised the public not to panic and to take precautions as advised by the government, while anyone who has had contact with passengers from flight AK7552 must immediately and strictly self-isolate for 14 days.
Laos reported its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 24, 2020