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Laos extends lockdown by 14 days for fight against Covid-19

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Wednesday asked the Lao people to strictly follow the recommendations of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control as the nationwide lockdown was extended by 14 days till May 3.

According to Prime Minister’s Order No 06, dated March 29, the government initially directed people to stay at home for three weeks during April 1-19 to contain the spread of the deadly virus. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Thongloun announced the 14-day extension of the lockdown. 

"Each person must defend himself, and protect their families, their dear relatives, and others in society. People of all ages are at equal risk of contracting this deadly disease all the time," he said. 

The strict implementation of the stay-at-home directive will help the Party and State, lighten the burden of the taskforce and  doctors who are working tirelessly in the face of great risks, he said. 

Besides, this measure will help lighten the burden on society and help save the lives of people, he added.

"The government is well aware of this change to the way of our social life that has occurred suddenly. It is desirable that people should be free to live, and get to meet each other," the Prime Minister said. 

The pandemic has affected business at all levels and the livelihoods of the people, and even the celebration of the Lao New Year, which is being observed during April 13-16, he observed." That is a tradition that has been practised for hundreds of thousands of years, but today we are limited,” Prime Minister Thongloun said.

“We are in an unusual situation because of what has happened, but everyone is required to make a sacrifice for one's self, for the sake of social peace, for stability and for the security of our nation,” he said.

"If we go through this crisis together, happiness will definitely come back again," he added.

In the last session, the government had agreed to the directive No 31/ນຍ that set out the socio-economic policies and measures to help alleviate the country's economic woes.

The Prime Minister also asked every family and every citizen to consider this crisis as an opportunity to take action to increase productivity to cope with possible future food shortages. This will also lead to the betterment of the economy, he said. 

“I urge everyone - be conscious, don't abuse this difficult time. Individuals and groups shouldn't use opportunities to benefit themselves or cause trouble for people and society, because the people will never forgive them,” he said.

Prime Minister Thongloun further said: "Let everyone be conscious, don't believe fake news, but stay tuned only for official news.

"We must unite. The whole nation is one, the Lao people don't give up. In the meantime, be patient at home, wash your hands often, put on a mask and stay at home to fight against Covid-19." 

By Sangkhomxay Bubhanouvong
(Latest Update April 15, 2020)

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