Laos Confirms 54th Case of Covid-19 Following Illegal Border Crossing

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Laotian Times Covid-19 Update

Salavanh and Savannakhet provinces are on high alert following a new case of Covid-19 after a man and a woman illegally crossed the border from Thailand.

According to a notice issued by the National Taskforce, a 32-year-old man from Nateuy Village, Khongsedon District, Salavanh Province has been confirmed as the 54th case of Covid-19 in Laos.

The man had been working at a vegetable stall in Lat Phrao, Northeast of Bangkok, Thailand.

According to a notice issued by the Salavanh Governor’s Office, the man crossed illegally back into Laos accompanied by a middle-aged female. They arrived by boat at Lakhonpheng at approximately 3:00am on 11 April.

The pair were picked up at Lakhonpheng traditional border crossing by a Hyundai truck. They were taken to the truck owner’s house where they spent the night.

On 12 April, at approximately 3:00am, the pair were taken in the Hyundai truck to Khongsedon.

The man was picked up from Khongsedon bus station by his wife and taken to his home.

Meanwhile, the woman, as yet unidentified, took a public bus from Khongsedon District, Salavanh Province, to KM 35, Savannakhet Province.

On 13 April the village chief contacted the man (Case 54) and medical personnel collected the man from his home and placed him in isolation at a state quarantine center in Khongsedon.

On 15 April, the man tested positive for Covid-19.

Contract tracing revealed 32 people who had had contact with the man. These have since been isolated and tested for Covid-19.

Authorities are urging the woman who accompanied Case 54 to report to local police or health officials for testing and isolation.

Similarly, passengers on the public bus traveling from Khongsedon District to Savannakhet at 4:20am are being asked to report to health officials for testing.

Laos has now confirmed 54 cases of Covid-19, with five people undergoing treatment in hospitals around the country.

Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, under the Ministry of Health, announced new Covid measures in place for the month of April, stating that all entertainment venues, including bars, nightclubs, and karaoke venues are ordered closed.

Large gatherings and events during which attendees are unable to maintain social distancing of at least one meter are not permitted, and travel during the Lao New Year period is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Border patrols are to be increased and previously announced Covid-19 prevention measures such as wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer remain in effect.