The Lao government closed the border and announced a two-week lock in the capital, Vientiane, as the country was preventing a rare COVID-19 outbreak involving neighboring Thailand.
Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh will lower the capital Vientiane until 5/5. announced on Wednesday, during that time, residents of the city are required to stay home except for groceries or medical treatment. All gatherings of more than 20 people will Prohibit, and entertainment venues, bars, massage parlors and gyms will be forced to close.
The government has also banned travel between the capital and provinces, and has worked to stop people illegally crossing the border from Thailand, which is currently experiencing its worst viral outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic.
This is the second Vientiane closure, after restrictions have been imposed in Last April after the discovery of the country’s first COVID-19 case cluster.
“Currently, our country has a very high risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in the community, especially in the capital Vientiane and in Savannakhet province,” said Phoutone Muongpak, Lao Deputy Minister of Health and Head of the Special Forces Department. Country about COVID-19 said. Prevention and control, told reporters on Tuesday.
“I want to call on our people to strictly comply with the previous orders of the Prime Minister by increasing border controls, preventing people from illegally crossing, then arresting and sending them to the control centers. Translate anyone who enters Laos illegally. “
The Vientiane Times is run by the state report that Twenty-six of the 28 identified cases on Wednesday were residents of Vientiane who were exposed to a student believed to have contracted the virus from a Thai man. The other two are workers from Thailand to return to Champassak province, the south of the country.
Officials in Savannakhet province have patrol increased on the Mekong border with Thailand, after a woman infected with COVID-19 revealed that she had been in contact with two Thai men who entered the country through Savannakhet. Lao Airlines also announced that they were suspend all domestic flights until May 5.
Thailand is currently in stage worst wave COVID-19 infection, has led to the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dispute new sources of vaccine. Thai officials reported 2,070 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a record in a day, bringing the total to 50,183 cases. The country also reported four deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 121 people.
Laos’ embargo also comes a week after neighboring Cambodia started two-week course of the capital Phnom Penh and the nearby town of Takhmau to handle its own alarming COVID-19 outbreak. Announced the measures last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen tell the country, “We are on the verge of death. If we do not join hands, we will stab into real death ”. The door lock ever since expanded to the coastal city of Sihanoukville.
On Thursday, Cambodian health authorities confirmed 446 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 8,193, while three more died from the disease, bringing the national death toll to 59.
While the outbreaks in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia may seem insignificant compared to the record outbreaks currently devastating India, they are alarming as these countries have gone through most of 2020. hardly affected by viruses.
In the case of Laos, the country’s successful avoidance of COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic was purchased at a significant economic cost, with the collapse of the country’s tourism industry pushing the country ashore. sovereign default sector. Lacking foreign exchange reserves to pay off existing debts, the Lao government was forced to Signed through controlling shares in its national grid for a Chinese state-owned company.
While the Lao government is taking quick action to stop the spread of the virus, a massive outbreak will wipe out last year’s hard-earned achievements, and complicate economic problems. economy of the country.