Thailand Returns Illegal Entrant Believed to be Covid-19 Super Spreader

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Thailand Returns Illegal Entrant Believed to be Covid-19 Super Spreader

Thai authorities have returned a woman believed to be one of three central figures in the super spreader event that led to the country’s second wave, to Laos.

Lao authorities received Ms. Phavady Viphakone at the Friendship Bridge after her recovery from Covid-19 was had been completed at a hospital in Nong Khai, Thailand, according to Lao Post.

Ms. Phavady and two Thai men entered Laos illegally via Savannakhet Province on 6 April, where they met with Case 59 and traveled to Vientiane, leading to a surge in Covid-19 cases across Laos.

Every province in Laos has now gone into lockdown as a result of the second wave of Covid-19.

The Lao Ministry of Public Security and the Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control negotiated the return of Ms. Phavady with Thai authorities so she could face charges for illegally entering the country and indirectly causing an outbreak of Covid-19.

The 26-year-old woman is known to have exited Laos at Maknao Village, Pakngum District, Vientiane Capital, crossing the Mekong River in a boat on the night of 17 April.

Authorities in Nong Khai Province launched their own investigation into the woman after learning from Lao authorities that she had entered Laos illegally, leading to the spread of Covid-19.

Lao officials will now begin an investigation into Ms. Phavady, whose actions violated the immigration laws of the Lao PDR, as well as regulations on the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and other relevant laws.

It is expected that prosecution will begin soon after the investigation is complete.