Laos Remains Vulnerable Despite Mostly Avoiding COVID-19 Carnage, Officials Say

Sandra Loyd

Health officials in Laos say the federal government has actually executed efficient procedures to avoid the spread of the fatal coronavirus, however that authorities should ensure they continue to be maintained since the impoverished country with minimal medical resources remains at danger.

The little landlocked nation of 7 million people has actually signed up 19 verified COVID-19 cases because March 24 without any associated deaths– a number has actually stayed the very same for 9 successive days, the Lao National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Avoidance and Control stated Wednesday.

Laos is efficiently avoiding the spread and managing of the infectious pathogen, stated a Lao employee at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) office in the capital Vientiane on Wednesday.

” The WHO constantly provides guidance to the Lao Health Ministry about the tracking, dealing with, and handling COVID-19 in addition to [employing] other procedures versus it, and our management has actually made an exact decision,” stated the female, who did not offer her name since she is not licensed to talk to the media.

The WHO, a specific company of the United Nations accountable for international public health, is working carefully with the Lao Health Ministry and has actually asked for guidance and help for Laos, consisting of medical equipment, from ASEAN members, China, South Korea, and Italy, she stated.

Laos belongs to the 10- country Association of Southeast Asian Countries, a local group that promotes financial, political, and security combination amongst its members.

A member of Laos’ COVID-19 avoidance job force stated Wednesday that the nation is still at danger since it does not have the medical personnel and equipment to handle a big coronavirus break out.

“Laos is still at risk and under surveillance,” stated the individual, who did not wish to be recognized since he is not licensed to talk to the media.

“Members of the specific task force teams are working hard and campaigning relentlessly to warn the public because our hospitals and medical equipment are not modern,” he stated. “We don’t have that much equipment. That’s why we have to take strict measures.”

Laos shares long and permeable borders with China, Vietnam, and Thailand, contributing to the nation’s vulnerability to infection.

Lockdown extended

The Lao federal government bought excessive employees to stay at home start March 30 to avoid the spread of the pathogen and formed an unique health system formed to handle the crisis.

Officials likewise closed schools and prohibited the motion of people around Laos, and forbade the holding of spiritual events and big events. They likewise required migrant employees returning from Thailand and other countries to be quarantined for 14 days.

Vientiane locals stated people are sticking to the federal government’s stringent procedures for managing the spread of COVID-19

“The government has declared a state of emergency or lockdown,” stated someone who declined to provide his name. “The prime minister has been very strict about restricting all travel in and out of the country.”

Another homeowner of the capital stated: “The government has strict rules to control the disease, one of which is for people to stay at home and not go out.”

On April 15, the federal government extended the existing lockdown to May 3 and duplicated that procedures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic must stay in impact up until more notification.

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Equated by Max Avary. Composed in English by Roseanne Gerin.

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