Laos has confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19 following testing of over 1,292 people.
The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced today that the country had confirmed a total of 65 new cases.
Dr. Phonepadith Xangsayarath, Director of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE), Ministry of Health, said that the number of cases had jumped from 95 to 159 nationwide.
Vientiane Capital saw 60 cases, with two new cases in Bokeo Province, two cases in Champasack Province, and one case in Vientiane Province.
Testing is underway in Bokeo, Vang Vieng, and Luang Prabang, where infected persons were known to have traveled during the Lao New Year holiday.
Meanwhile, 19 people who crossed into Laos illegally yesterday have been placed in quarantine at KM 27.
Dr. Phonepadith urged those who had been tested to stay home and self-isolate for a full 14-day period, regardless of receiving a negative result, saying that from tomorrow onward, testing will be conducted between 9 am to 12 pm, with the afternoons reserved for laboratory work.
Dr. Phouthon Muongpak, Deputy Minister of Health, reiterated that the strain spreading in Laos is the UK strain of Covid-19, saying it is highly dangerous and infectious.
The deputy minister stressed that the government must continue to spread awareness of the outbreak, and ensure that the population is washing their hands, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing.
He said it is important that people do not gather, and that social distancing must be maintained at workplaces across the country.
Observing that road traffic has not been reduced in the capital, the deputy minister urged people to remain at home unless absolutely necessary, and that those who are at risk or who may have been exposed should self-quarantine.
Deputy Minister Phouthon called on authorities to redouble their efforts in ensuring that entertainment venues and sports centers remain closed.
The Taskforce says it will make an announcement every day at 2 pm from today onward.
Seven provinces have gone into lockdown, with more provinces expected to follow over the next few days, while strict curfews have been announced in Savannakhet and Luang Prabang.