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Taskforce prioritises virus checks for arrivals, cautions on travel plans

The National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control is prioritising surveillance and quarantine measures on people entering Laos as it attempts to extend the positive results of the domestic lockdown against the virus.
Authorities are also warning companies and organisations with personnel planning to travel overseas to do so if only completely necessary to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country via returning Lao nationals.
Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Phouthone Muongpak, who is also Deputy Head of the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, told a daily news briefing on Wednesday that all sectors must follow the government’s regulations on travel to ensure there are no further outbreaks of the virus in Laos. Local travellers must also respect the rules of other nations.
Dr Phouthone requested that everyone in society maintain prevention and control efforts against COVID-19 such as following the May 4-17 measures announced under the Prime Minister’s order No. 524.
As at 5pm on May 5, the taskforce committee reported that 67 returning Lao workers entered via the border checkpoint in Champassak province.
Meanwhile, five workers and truck drivers passed through Laos-Thailand’s 2nd friendship bridge, 18 truck divers entered from China with another 626 truck drivers coming from Vietnam. No entries were recorded for Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.
Each person entering via border checkpoints around the country had their temperature checked with none having a fever. On May 5, 87 samples were taken, but all tested negative for the coronavirus. From January 5 to May 5, some 2,505 samples have been tested with 19 confirmed infections. This means that as of May 6 there had been no new cases for 24 days.
Returning workers have been sent to stay at quarantine centres for 14 days. As of May 5, some 87 quarantine centres were operating around the country housing 608 people. Health authorities tested 1,017 samples, but no infections were found.
According to the Ministry of Health as of May 6, COVID-19 had spread to 212 countries and territories, with 3,664,011 confirmed cases globally (79,689 new infections). The virus has claimed 257,301 lives while more than 1,199,389 people have recovered.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong
(Latest Update May 7, 2020)

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