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Take passengers’ temperatures before flying to Laos, foreign airlines told

Lao authorities have told foreign airlines to check the temperature of their pilots, flight attendants and passengers before flying to Laos in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus here.
The Task Force Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control yesterday issued an announcement instructing the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to notify foreign airlines that operate flights to Laos.
The move aims to keep Laos free from the deadly virus, which has spread to many countries around the globe.

There is no confirmed case of the virus in Laos so far.
According to the announcement, foreign airlines are required to check the temperature of everyone in the categories listed above before letting them board a flight.
Anyone found to have flu-like or Covid-19 symptoms must be treated in that country. Once they have recovered, the person or persons can fly to Laos as planned.
People who arrive in Laos and show flu-like or Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to a hospital for observation and asked to provide samples for lab tests.
A person arriving in Laos without any symptoms is required to self-monitor and take his or her temperature daily for 14 days. If going to a public place, they must wear a face mask. Those who develop flu-like or Covid-19 symptoms while in Laos are recommended to call the committee’s hotline number 166 or 020 54066777 for advice on getting a diagnosis and treatment.
Airlines based in seven countries currently fly into Laos, coming from China, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
An official at the Aviation Department, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in charge of such matters told Vientiane Times the number of countries that have direct flights to Laos remains unchanged at seven. But the number of flights has declined due to a sharp drop in passengers in the wake of the virus outbreak.
For instance, flights from South Korea, which has been hit hard by the outbreak, have plummeted to just four a week - a drop of 90 percent. Most flights from China to Laos have been suspended. Only the sector from Kunming to Vientiane remains operational with three flights a day. Lao authorities have restricted travel in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus into Laos.
State departments have been told to consider suspending or postponing overseas working trips by their officials to countries where the coronavirus has been reported.
Authorities have told tour operators not to organise package tours to outbreak countries until the virus is under control. Tour operators have also been asked not to bring in tour groups from outbreak countries until the virus is contained. 

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update March 5, 2020)


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