Laos announced today it has plans to authorize self-isolation and at-home care for those infected with Covid-19, or people who have had close contact with an infected person.
Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, said in an announcement by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control today that with the increased community spread experienced by several provinces in Laos, central hospitals and field hospitals are reaching capacity.
He said that despite the continued expansion of field hospitals in many provinces, medical personnel will soon be unable to adequately respond to the growing number of cases of Covid-19, meaning a transition to self-isolation and at-home care would be inevitable.
Dr. Lattanaxay said that such policies would only be put into place should hospitals reach maximum capacity, however, he said that those who had had close contact with Covid-19 patients would be able to self-isolate at home if their residence met certain conditions.
Under the new regulations, the residence of those self-isolating would be required to have separate or self-contained sleeping quarters and toilet facilities, while those self-isolating would need to stay at home for 14 days after first having contact with an infected person.
Persons in self-isolation would need to monitor their symptoms, including regular temperature checks and monitoring of symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste. People would also need to keep away from other members of the household, particularly those in at-risk groups, according to Dr. Lattanaxay.
Meanwhile, he said that at-home treatment for Covid-19 would also become a possibility in the near future, with people exhibiting mild symptoms of Covid-19 being allowed to rest and recover from the virus at home.
This would allow hospitals to concentrate on more serious cases, says Dr. Lattanaxay, as well as leaving room for those with underlying conditions.
Laos has experienced a high number of community cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, with an outbreak at garment factories in Vientiane Capital putting the nation’s capital into lockdown for two weeks.
After completing a full lockdown, Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Captial, Phouvong Vongkhamsao, said that a balance must be struck between public health, effective governance, and economic measures, with the city easing measures in areas without community spread.