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Taskforce calls for stricter enforcement of virus control measures

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has expressed concern over a second wave of Covid-19 in Laos after finding that some of the measures aimed at curbing the disease were not being carried out effectively.

A doctor carries out a test at a lab in Vientiane. (File Photo)

“Based on the assessment of the taskforce committee, implementation of some of the measures contained in the government notice No. 580/PM Office are not good enough,” Deputy Minister of Health Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak told a media briefing on Saturday.

The Committee had learnt that the implementation of virus prevention measures at schools, bus stations and shops was not taking place in line with the government notice.

In addition, some people were gathering in large numbers for social events, which put the country at risk of a second virus outbreak, he warned.

Dr Phouthone made the comment after the government relaxed some of the Covid-19 prevention measures, which allowed the resumption of some business activities and school classes after a nationwide lockdown lasting more than a month.

The government decided to lift some of the measures to minimise the impact of the disease outbreak on economic growth and people’s livelihoods, he said, adding that it was not yet time for people to return to their normal way of life.

Samples tested for the virus on Friday, under the supervision of the Committee, all returned negative results, meaning there are no new confirmed cases of Covid-19, Dr Phouthone said.

As of May 22, samples taken from 5,194 people had been tested for the virus, of whom 19 people were found to have contracted Covid-19. Fourteen of these have recovered and been discharged  from hospital.

In the meantime, local and international border crossings remain closed. Only Lao workers returning from other countries, truck drivers bringing in supplies, and government officials may enter Laos.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update May 23, 2020)

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