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Local Authorities Urged To Enforce PM’s Order On Lockdown

Source: Vientiane Times

Local authorities must ensure that Prime Minister’s Order No. 6, aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19 by putting a lockdown in place, is enforced, health officials say.

Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Ministry of Health, Dr Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, stressed this point during the latest daily media briefing on Covid-19, saying everyone should cooperate with the ruling and comply with the Order to prevent the spread of the virus.

His message comes after the government extended the lockdown for 14 days until May 3, including the closure of all international and local border crossings to individuals.

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He said the extended lockdown would help to curb the spread of Covid-19 but noted that the Order was not being enforced in some areas. 

It had been observed that the restriction on the movement of people during the lockdown was not being complied with and in some parts of the country most people were not staying at home and continued to travel to work or leave their homes for other reasons.

“What local authorities need to do is to intensify the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus as stated in Prime Minister’s Order No. 6,” Dr Rattanaxay said.

Travel ban measures may be justified to limit the virus outbreak, he added, but noted that travel bans to outbreak areas or denial of entry to passengers coming from outbreak areas were not always effective in preventing Covid-19.  

He said local people and  travellers should be aware of the general recommendations regarding personal hygiene and coughing etiquette and keep a distance of at least one metre from anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19.

People who are unwell should postpone travel to outbreak areas, especially elderly people and those with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.

People departing outbreak areas should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days and follow the protocols of the country they enter. Some countries may require returning travellers to undergo a period of quarantine.

The Prime Minister’s Order, dated March 29, instructed everyone to stay at home from April 1-19, in a bid to contain the spread of the potentially deadly virus. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced a 14-day extension of the lockdown.

The health ministry has urged the public to consume information from only reliable and official sources and to be aware of fake news.

If you have any flu-like symptoms and have travelled to an outbreak area, please contact health workers upon entry into Laos. For anyone who has been to an outbreak area and developed symptoms after entering Laos, please call +856 20 5406 6777 to speak to a duty officer in Lao or English around the clock.  For more information, call the free hotline number 166 at any time.