Thirty-four Chinese nationals were deported from Laos last week after being found to have entered the country illegally.
The 34 Chinese migrants crossed into Yot Ou District, Phongsaly Province, from bordering Yunnan, China on 19 July. The group was discovered by local residents who quickly reported them to authorities citing fear of the spread of Covid-19.
Lt. Col. Ly Bankeo, Head of the Yot Ou District Police Command, said that between 18-19 July, a number of illegal immigrants from China were found entering the country via small tracks in Longthang Village.
“Our police command set up a taskforce to deal with the situation and found a public bus bound for Oudomxay with 34 Chinese migrants aboard. Seven of them were female. The migrants were detained under the Lao Law on Immigration and Foreigner Management,” said Lt. Col. Bankeo.
While detained, the illegal immigrants had their temperatures taken but did not show signs of fever. The group claimed to be entering Laos as tourists.
Lt. Col Ly said that the Chinese immigrants were handed over to Chinese officials, effectively being deported back to China, in the presence of Lao officials.
While local transmission has not been detected within Laos for some time, imported cases of Covid-19 remain a significant concern.
A 32-year-old Korean national traveling from Japan was confirmed as the 20th case of Covid-19 in Laos after the country enjoyed more than a hundred days without any new cases.