Lockdown Breakdown? Vientiane Population Takes to the Road

Lockdown breakdown in Vientiane?

Residents of Vientiane Capital have taken to the road following the end of the Lao New Year holiday, despite an order from the Prime Minister to stay at home.

Social media has been flooded with images of busy streets as Vientiane residents take to the road in clear violation of the national lockdown order.

Laos went into full lockdown on 30 March, with measures prohibiting all residents to leave their homes except for essential grocery shopping, hospital visits, and any other tasks authorized by the government.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith extended the lockdown period for Laos until 3 May under Prime Ministerial Order 06/PM.

The Prime Minister, in his speech on April 15, called upon all people, including foreigners, to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

The news comes as Southeast Asia is now considered to become the next coronavirus hotspot, according to experts.

The region, home to nearly 2 billion people, has reported over 28,000 cases of Covid-19.  Four countries are experiencing a surge in cases, with Singapore climbing from 266 cases up to nearly 6,000 since 17 March.

It is feared that tens of thousands of infections may be going undetected in Southeast Asia due to a low testing rate.