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Vientiane Closes Schools, Beefs Up Virus Control Measures

Source: Vientiane Times

Vientiane authorities have ordered the closure of schools in the capital as part of the government’s measures to contain community outbreaks of Covid-19.

The move comes after Xaythany district leaders tested positive for the virus on August 13, sparking fears of a major outbreak in the capital. The leaders tested positive after visiting a quarantine facility, where migrant workers returning from the provinces and other countries are being kept in isolation.

The district leaders visited a number of places and held meetings with officials and village authorities.

All public and private schools have been instructed to close, including pre-school centres and formal education and vocational schools.

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A notice from the Vientiane Department of Education and Sports, referring to student registration for the next academic year, says schools must ensure there is no crowding during the registration process.

The notice stated that arrangements for exams arranged to test the knowledge of Grade 1 and 5 secondary school students must comply with virus control measures.

Meanwhile, authorities in Xaythany district asked health officials to trace anyone who have may have come into contact with the district’s infected leaders. If traced, they must be tested for the virus and self-isolate.

A notice issued by the district recently called for stronger measures to be applied at quarantine centres to ensure the safety of the people working there and those in quarantine.

People who do not have any legitimate connection to quarantine centres are banned from entering.

On Sunday, 198 new infections were recorded across the country, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases since March last year to 10,092. These occurred in Vientiane (26 imported cases, 1 community-acquired case), Khammuan (52 imported cases), Saravan (11 imported cases), Savannakhet (50 imported cases, 11 community-acquired cases) and Champassak (47 imported cases).

More than half of those who contracted the virus have been discharged from hospitals, with only 4,210 people currently under observation or receiving treatment. There are 99 quarantine centres around the country, where more than 14,000 people are being housed.

Laos is struggling to contain the spread of Covid-19 due to the influx of workers returning from Thailand, many of whom have brought the virus into Laos.

Statistics show that at least 30 percent of returnees have tested positive for the virus.

Provinces that share a border with Thailand, including Champassak, Khammuan, Savannakhet and Saravan, have intensified measures to keep the virus in check. Savannakhet and Champassak provinces have ordered lockdowns in certain areas following a spike in new cases.