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PM Outlines Measures To Contain Covid Outbreak

Source: Vientiane Times

The government is mobilising all available resources to fight and contain the Covid-19 outbreak in provinces hardest hit by the pandemic, Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh has said.

Provinces recently sent equipment to help control the current outbreak in Vientiane, while capital authorities previously provided supplies and medical staff to Savannakhet and Champassak provinces, which have also experienced high numbers of Covid cases.

Addressing the media online on Wednesday, the premier stressed the need to mobilise resources in the provinces to help those affected by the virus outbreak.

In addition, the government is speeding up the vaccination programme so as to immunise as many people as possible against the virus.

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Prime Minister Phankham said he was confident that the government, with assistance from friendly countries and international organisations, could achieve the target to inoculate 50 percent of the adult population by the end of this year.

As of September 3, more than 3 million people had been given a first dose of a Covid vaccine, while more than 2 million out of a total population of about 7 million had received two doses.

As the Covid outbreak in Vientiane escalates, the government is setting up more quarantine facilities and treatment centres to handle the growing number of cases.

In the worst-case scenario in which Covid patients overwhelm public facilities, the government plans to encourage people with mild or no symptoms to self-isolate and self-medicate at home.

In this situation, patients must be isolated from their virus-free family members, the prime minister said.

As of Thursday, Laos has recorded 26,876 Covid cases including 414 new cases confirmed on the day, while 23 people have died from the virus.

However, the infection rate in Laos remains very low compared to many other countries.

As of September 6, Laos’ infection rate stood at about 0.37 percent of the population with the death rate at 0.0003 percent.

Neighbouring Thailand’s infection and death rates were 2.2 and 0.024 percent respectively, Cambodia recorded 0.7 and 0.01 percent respectively, and Singapore reported rates of 1.8 and 0.11 percent.

In the United States, infection and death rates stood at 13.99 and 0.21 percent respectively, while in France the rates were 10.7 and 0.17 percent.

The prime minister stressed the need to tighten Covid-19 prevention and control measures in outbreak zones, while easing some restrictions so that businesses can operate in order to mitigate the effects on businesses, the workforce and the economy as a whole.

He called for people from all walks of life to strictly comply with the Covid-19 prevention and control rules introduced by the government and local authorities in an attempt to bring the virus under control.