Laos has confirmed two more cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to twenty-two.
According to a press conference by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, a 30-year-old male returning from Taiwan and a 25-year-old female student returning from the United States are the latest imported cases of Covid-19.
Case 21 has been identified as a 30-year-old Lao national who was under quarantine at an official quarantine hotel in Vientiane Capital and did not initially exhibit symptoms.
He traveled from Taiwan, where he had been undergoing training, on 11 August, transiting through South Korea, on China Airlines Flight CI9064. He spent 18 hours at Incheon Airport (South Korea).
On 12 August, the man flew from Incheon Airport to Vientiane’s Wattay Airport on Lao Airlines Flight QV922A, along with 114 other passengers. Before boarding the Lao Airlines flight, the man had tested negative for Covid-19 as per the minimum 48-hour pre-boarding requirement set by Lao authorities.
A sample was collected by health authorities at Wattay Airport before the man was driven to his hotel in a minivan.
In the afternoon of 13 August, the man tested positive for Covid-19, without displaying any clear symptoms. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and isolated as per health regulations.
Contract tracing revealed four individuals on the flight and eight individuals in the minivan who had close contact with the man, all of whom have tested negative and are still in quarantine and being monitored.
Case 22, a 25-year-old female and Lao citizen was under quarantine in Vientiane Capital at an official quarantine hotel and was not exhibiting symptoms.
On 10 August the woman traveled from Seattle (United States) on Korean Air Flight KE5020, transiting through South Korea’s Incheon Airport. She spent 15 hours at Incheon Airport before departing for Laos on Lao Airlines Flight QV922A.
A sample was collected by health authorities at Wattay Airport before the woman was taken to her quarantine hotel in a van.
On 13 August, the woman’s test results showed a positive result for Covid-19, and she was taken to hospital by ambulance and isolated. Like case 21, she was asymptomatic.
Both individuals are now undergoing treatment at Vientiane’s Mittaphab Friendship Hospital, which has a specialized wing dedicated to the treatment of Covid-19 patients, alongside case 20, who has been undergoing treatment for the past 22 days but testing still shows a positive result. Despite the positive marker, case 20 shows no symptoms.
The Covid-19 Taskforce further stated that the 12 August Lao Airlines flight would be the last charter flight permitted to enter the country. Charter flights had previously been allowed from South Korea because it is the only regional hub from which Lao nationals can return home via air travel.
Vice Minister of Health Dr. Phouthone Meuangpak insists that these 3 new cases do not constitute a second wave of Covid-19.
The full press conference can be viewed below.