Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh Addresses Nation on Covid-19

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh Gives Speech on Covid-19
PM Phankham Viphavanh

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh gave a public address yesterday evening regarding the prevention and control of Covid-19 in Laos.

He said that the situation around the world remains serious, and conditions in neighboring countries are worsening, with more people sick and dying and new variants appearing.

Because of this, the PM warned that Laos remains at high risk of another major outbreak.

Prime Minister Phankham has urged all residents to remain vigilant and to support the government in its fight against the virus to prevent future community outbreaks.

He said that lockdown restrictions must continue because of the increasing number of migrant workers returning home to Laos from Thailand, where the virus is spreading.

Some 15 percent of returnees have tested positive for Covid-19, with severe outbreaks of the highly transmissible Delta variant confirmed among community cases in Thailand.

PM Phankham said that thanks to the hard work of the Party and government, and all residents of Laos, some success has been made in controlling the community spread of Covid-19 in the country.

However, the PM reminded his people to refrain from holding parties and gatherings and to follow the Covid-19 prevention measures outlined by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

He said that while the government welcomes all migrant workers who return home, he urged them to do so legally and to go through the quarantine process to prevent any chance of dangerous variants spreading within any province of Laos.

“I urge returnees to contact a Lao embassy or consular office and to enter at official border crossings. The government regards the legal entry into Laos by Lao workers as an act of patriotism and love for their home country,” Vientiane Times quoted him as saying.

“On the contrary, those entering Laos illegally will be deemed to be contravening the country’s laws and taking the risk of bringing the virus to damage the nation. Anyone doing so will face legal action.”

PM Phankham also stressed that nobody in quarantine or in self-isolation should leave isolation before the set date because even when asymptomatic, the virus can still be spread to others.

He emphasized the importance of the vaccination program in ending the outbreak, saying that the government is on track to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by the end of the year.