Champasack Hospitals Overwhelmed With Covid-19 Patients

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Phonthong Hospital Champasack Province
Phonthong Hospital in Champasack Province.

Hospitals in Champasack Province have been overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients as the number of imported cases surges.

According to a report by Lao National Radio, as Lao laborers pour back into the country from Thailand, Champasack authorities are facing a shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients as many returnees test positive for the virus each day.

Head of Champasack Provincial Health Department, Dr. Viengsy Souphakdy, says hundreds of Lao laborers return home via the Vang Tao-Chong Mek international border crossing every day. Many of them test positive for Covid-19 and require treatment at hospitals in the province.

Champasack has only three facilities currently available for the treatment of Covid patients, including Phonthong Hospital, 106 Hospital, and a field hospital set up at KM 21.

“We currently have only one provincial hospital, which can accommodate 40 people, so authorities plan to use the Southern Finance College dormitories as a new field hospital if the number of patients increases,” says Dr. Viengsy.

“Laborers returning from Thailand should try to arrive through other border crossings rather than the Vang Tao international border because it is now overcrowded, ” Dr. Viengsy added.

Authorities in Champasack have requested assistance from the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in finding a solution to overcrowded hospitals as soon as possible, while authorities in neighboring provinces should be prepared to accept returnees crossing border checkpoints for a 14-day quarantine in their jurisdictions.

Health officials have confirmed three cases of Delta variant in Soukhouma District of Champasack Province amid fears of community spread, with the province now being locked down and areas with infection being designated as red zones.