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New COVID-19 Case After 102 days: Laos

The Lao Ministry of Health reported one new COVID-19 case on Friday for the first time after 102 days.

Director of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology under Lao Ministry of Health, Phonepadith Sangxayalath, told a press conference in Lao capital Vientiane on Friday that the new case is a South Korean man, who is a staff of a hydropower project in Laos.

The 32-year-old patient travelled from Japan and transited through South Korea on July 18, and arrived in Laos on the same day.

The man said that prior to arriving in Laos he experienced no symptoms and tested negative for Covid-19.

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He went to a quarantine center in Vientiane by a van with another six passengers. Since then, he remained in the hotel, eating and sleeping in his designated room, in accordance with quarantine measures. His temperature was taken twice daily by hotel staff. It has been confirmed that he had neither left his room nor was anyone allowed to enter to clean the room, as per standard hotel quarantine procedures.

On 22 July, health officials and district authorities undertook a routine test of all hotel guests. On 23 July, a positive test result for Covid-19 was read at 21:00, and the man was promptly taken to Mittaphab Friendship Hospital (Hospital 150) in Vientiane Capital for treatment.

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Local health authorities have thoroughly disinfected the van, hotel room, and aircraft where the man had been. In addition, all passengers and cabin crew on the QV flight, including 17 people who have been identified as having had close contact with him, have tested negative. All of the abovementioned individuals are currently in a 14-day quarantine and are being closely monitored.

The patient is being treated at Mittaphab Hospital in Vientiane and he is not in serious condition, according to Phonepadith.

“Authorities and people countrywide must fully comply with the government’s guidelines to stop the spread of the virus,” Lao Deputy Minister of Health Phouthone Meaungpak said.

He added that, people should not be panic over this new case and should follow the information about the COVID-19 from only reliable and official sources to avoid the snare of fake news.