Prime Minister of Laos Discusses Lockdown Measures, Calls for More Vaccines

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh meets Covid-19 Taskforces

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh held a meeting via video conference yesterday with the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control as well as provincial taskforces to discuss the pandemic situation.

The taskforce leaders updated the premier on progress made under the implementation of Prime Ministerial Instruction 15/PM, issued 21 April, regarding the prevention and control of Covid-19, according to Lao Post.

The instruction, or lockdown notice, entered into force on 22 April and will remain in force until 20 May after being extended by Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaikhamphitoun.

The meeting between the PM and the various taskforces discussed revised Covid-19 prevention and control measures to be implemented following the end of lockdown on 20 May. It was suggested that certain measures could be relaxed, while other measures could be strengthened.

Also high on the prime minister’s agenda was the need to expedite the country’s vaccination program.

Prime Minister Phankham told the taskforce leaders that the procurement of vaccines and the expansion of vaccination campaigns must be prioritized and implemented as soon as possible.

He directed authorities to source and procure more Covid-19 vaccines in order to ensure adequate supply and to vaccinate a larger proportion of the population as quickly as possible.

A total of 533,172 people in Laos have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines, while 90,405 have received the second dose, Vientiane Times reports.

The Prime Minister urged taskforce leaders to coordinate with friendly nations and seek advice on best treatment practices as the total number of cases in the country rose to 1,638 yesterday, with 1,054 active cases.

He suggested that medical equipment in the country be upgraded in line with treatment protocols for Covid-19, and to prepare and organize medical personnel to meet demand in each province.

Prime Minister Phankham praised the national and provincial taskforces, as well as all frontline officials, thanking them on behalf of the Party and government for their work in fighting the Covid-19 outbreak.

He said he was certain that the National Taskforce and local authorities would continue to work hard in containing the spread of Covid-19 in accordance with the hopes of the people.