China has provided Laos with Covid-19 testing kits as the country faces mounting pressure to prevent and control the virus.
The move is part of efforts to enhance epidemic prevention and control cooperation between two countries. Apart from testing kits, Beijing will later ship other urgently needed preventative and protective materials such as face masks and protective suits to Laos, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Laos has also extended support in various aspects to China in its fight against the virus, including the donation of USD 700,000 and multiple shipments of epidemic prevention materials.
Xinhua quoted Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong as saying that China is ready to provide to Laos the much-needed protective materials, which is a specific measure taken by China to implement President Xi Jinping’s important directive on actively carrying out international cooperation to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic.
Meanwhile, Lao Health Minister Bounkong Syhavong said Laos is facing a risk of imported cases with the virus spreading across the world, adding that the preventative and protective materials provided by China will boost the country’s capability and confidence on fighting the disease.
The Lao government announced on March 18 that it will close all educational institutions and suspend the issuance of visas for foreign visitors for thirty days as part of tough new measures to prevent the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith also announced the closure of entertainment venues, including karaoke rooms and massage parlors, while calling for more public awareness campaigns to help the public understand the situation and how to take preventative measures.
He urged members of the public to avoid crowded events including celebrations held for the upcoming Lao New Year holiday, as well as traditional festivals, weddings, and parties.
Separately, the PM urged Lao people to begin growing crops and raising animals at home for their own consumption in case food supplies should run out amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also said on March 16 that Lao people should prepare for an unpredictable scenario as the number of virus cases continues to grow in neighboring countries.
He added at that time that Lao people had “well-established traditions” in agriculture, and this would absorb the impact of international trade disruption if eventuated.