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Govt intensifies virus prevention measures

Authorities have tightened quarantine measures and ordered schools closed in an attempt to prevent and control coronavirus amid the global pandemic.
There is no confirmed case in Laos as of yesterday.
The Ministry of Education and Sports yesterday ordered private and state preschools, kindergartens, preprimary schools, and play-based education centres to close temporarily. The closure takes effect immediately until April 21.
Primary schools will also suspend their studies from March 19 to April 21. Secondary and tertiary education institutions will run their classes as usual.
On Monday, the National Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control tightened quarantine measures on travellers entering Laos.
Those coming from coronavirus outbreak areas entering Laos with the virus-like symptoms must be isolated in hospital for diagnosis.
The symptoms include flu, cough and breathing difficulties.
Hospital-isolation is also imposed on those with such symptoms who have been in contact with virus patients.
In Vientiane, four hospitals – Mittaphab Hospital, Mahosot Hospital, Setthethirath Hospital and 103 Hospital have been designated for the isolation.
In the provinces, suspected patients will be isolated at provincial hospitals.
Self-quarantine at home for 14 days is imposed on travellers under the following conditions:
• Those coming from countries (which do not share a border with Laos) where more than 100 confirmed cases have been reported, although having no symptoms.
• Travellers from neighbouring countries whose provinces do not share a border with Laos that have more than 10 confirmed cases reported in their provinces.
• Those from contagious provinces of neighbouring countries where more than three confirmed cases have been reported.
Those travellers entering Laos with no symptoms and whose conditions do not match the isolation and home-quarantine criteria are told to impose self-monitoring.
The Task Force Committee has given advice for those being quarantined and self-monitored at home.
People in self-quarantine at home are restricted from going out for any activity. The quarantined person is suggested not to contact or get close to another person. Family members or employers are required to facilitate their daily needs including food while being quarantined.
The quarantined people are required to daily monitor their condition, including flu symptoms, cough and breathing difficulty, to take good care of their health, and always wash their hands.
Travellers under the 14-day self-monitoring at home can go out for essential activities but are required to wear a mask and self-monitor their flu, cough and breathing difficulty condition daily.      
For those under home-quarantine and self-monitoring who develop flu-like symptoms, cough and breathing difficulties can contact the Task Force Committee’s hotline 166 or 020 5406 6777 to seek advice.
The mentioned isolation, home quarantine and self-monitoring are among the latest measures the government is taking to prevent the virus from spreading into Laos.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told local media on Monday that further preventive measures are expected to be tabled at the monthly government meeting for March, scheduled to take place today.
All traditional checkpoints, also known as local checkpoints, were also ordered to close temporarily.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 18, 2020)

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