Lao media sources said Laos announced a two-week lockout in the capital Vientiane, with restrictions also being imposed in some provinces due to a sudden increase in the number of COVID cases in the country. high.
Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh said Vientiane would cease operations from April 22 to May 5. City residents must stay home unless they buy groceries or seek medical help, and travel between capitals and provinces are currently banned, Phankham said.
Only essential public and private workers are able to work and entertainment venues have been completely closed, Phankham added, adding that more test stations will soon be set up around the city.
“Today we have 28 more COVID-19 infections,” Phonepadith Xangsayrath, general manager of the Ministry of Health’s National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, said during a press conference in the capital on Wednesday. .
“Yesterday, we took samples of many people exposed to entertainment venues where four people had previously been infected with COVID-19, and we found that 26 people in Vientiane had test results. positive for this virus, ”said Phonepadith.
“Two Lao workers returning from Thailand also tested positive for the same virus in the southern province of Champassak, bringing our total cases to 88 cases. We are testing more people in the capital and in some high-risk provinces. he say.
Phoutone Muongpak – Deputy Minister of Health of Laos and Head of the National Task Force on COVID-19 Prevention and Control – pointed to what he calls a spike in the number of cases he told reporters on Tuesday. infected in this country since the beginning of April. .
“Currently, our country is at risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in the community, especially in the capital Vientiane and in Savannakhet province,” he said.
“I want to call on our people to strictly comply with the previous orders of the Prime Minister by increasing border control, preventing people from illegally crossing, then arresting and sending them to the control centers. translating anyone who enters Laos illegally, ”he said.
Courses in the provinces
In the Borikhamxay and Saravan provinces, the government has now ordered the closure of all schools from April 19 to May 2 in counties inhabited by infected people, while in the Vilaboury district of Savannakhet, the government locked up 4 villagers after a Lao worker illegally returned from Thailand to a village and later visited others.
Three districts of Xayaburi province, bordering Thailand, have been barred to prevent border crossings, with patrols now intensified at the borders at Borikhamxay, Khammaouane and Savannakhet, and possible cross-river points. The Mekong is guarded by soldiers around the clock. the source said the police.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phankham called on health agencies to step up vaccination for target groups, expand the program to the public as soon as possible, and encourage private clinics and hospitals. buy COVID-19 vaccine from foreign suppliers and do the vaccination. to their own employees and members of the public.
A private clinic owner in Vientiane expressed interest in the plan, saying: “I was asked by many patients if I would provide that service. However, I hope that only the rich will come to the clinic, while members of the public and government insured workers will go to public hospitals. “
Laotians who have qualified for vaccinations are flocking to district and provincial hospitals to wait for vaccinations, while in Vientiane, a large public hospital, crowd control is difficult.
Report of the Lao Language Service of RFA. Translation of Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney.