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Public urged to maintain vigilance in fight against Covid-19 

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday urged the public and relevant authorities to continue to follow and enforce virus prevention measures even though there have been no new cases of Covid-19 for 32 consecutive days.
Speaking at a media briefing on May 14, Deputy Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak, said that despite there being no reports of new Covid-19 cases in Laos for 32 days, it was essential to continue to follow the government’s guidance on prevention and control of the virus.

He said continued compliance with these measures, which will come to an end in the next few days, would ensure effective control of Covid-19.
To limit the spread of the virus, the government introduced lockdown measures on April 1 and relaxed some of the restrictions at the end of last month to ease travel limitations and minimise the impact on the economy. The current relaxed control measures will end on May 18.
Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone, who is deputy head of the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said the key factor in determining the success of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus was the participation of the general public and authorities in combatting this virulent disease.
It was essential that every person and all relevant authorities strictly abide by the “new normal” guidelines and rules laid down by the taskforce committee to prevent the further spread of the virus, he added.
The committee has urged everyone to continue to regularly wash their hands with soap, and to wear a face mask when going outside their homes and in crowded places. People must also continue to practise social distancing, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone said.
According to a media release from the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, on May 13 authorities collected samples from 179 people for testing, which all yielded negative results.
Over the past few months, samples taken from 4,092 people have been tested for Covid-19, with only 19 giving a positive result.
Fourteen of the 19 people hospitalised with the virus have recovered and been discharged. The other five, of whom four are female, remain in hospital but have only mild symptoms.
Thanks to the strict measures enforced, aid from friendly countries and international organisations, and public cooperation, the government has been successful in containing the Covid-19 outbreak.
But despite this success, local and international health experts warn everyone to stay alert to keep the virus at bay and prevent its spread.
Some countries have experienced a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases after relaxing prevention and control measures.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update May 15, 2020)

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