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Covid controls remain in force to prevent imported cases

The government has extended its Covid-19 prevention measures while also allowing people in Laos to celebrate Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) from April 14-16.
This means members of the public must strictly comply with the guidelines issued by the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control during the festival, to keep the virus in check.
In addition, the national taskforce has been instructed to work with local authorities to prepare human resources, equipment, and budgets to deal with a major outbreak should it occur.
In a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office last week, government bodies were advised to tackle shortcomings and ensure everyone complied with government guidelines to keep the coronavirus under control.
This month and next, the government will continue with similar Covid-19 prevention measures to those advised in February and March.
One of the government’s most important measures in March was to require all foreign nationals entering Laos to buy Covid insurance through the Ministry of Health.
This insurance is now mandatory in addition to other travel documents and requests for permission to enter the country, which must be submitted to the ministry.
Referring to its previous notice issued on March 25, the Prime Minister’s Office stressed the need for people to limit Lao New Year celebrations to traditional rituals.
The notice banned outdoor entertainment, street fairs, Miss Lao New Year beauty contests and processions, as well as dance and music shows and concerts by rivers or in other public places.
The curbs on entertainment reflect the government’s wish to prevent large public gatherings, fearing that the virus could spread quickly if infections were reported because the pandemic remains widespread, including in neighbouring countries.
In a notice signed by the Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Khamjane Vongphosy, on March 31, authorities across the country were urged to strictly enforce all measures recommended to prevent the import of Covid into Laos.
In addition, authorities are asked to publicise the rules and recommendations to ensure that people of all ethnicities understand them and are careful to maintain social distancing, wear face masks and wash their hands with soap or sanitising gel.
One of the main ways to keep the virus at bay is through strict border controls. Everyone entering the country illegally must be placed in quarantine and comply with other measures.   
The authorities are also instructed to further rollout the vaccination programme in order to achieve the target set by the government.
To date, only 49 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Laos and no deaths from the virus have been reported. The first two cases were reported on March 24, 2020.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update
April 05,

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