Private Sector Pushes for Reopening of Factories in Vientiane Capital

Garment Factory Worker
Garment Factory Worker

Private sector representatives have called on the government to consider reopening factories in Vientiane Capital in a bid to speed up economic recovery.

The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) has requested the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control rethink its Covid-19 restrictions in regard to factories, KPL reports.

According to new covid restriction measures issued by the Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Captial, factories and plants must cease operations in areas with outbreaks of Covid-19 among factory workers or the community unless otherwise authorized by the National Taskforce.

However, the LNCCI says that reopening factories in the green zones remains difficult under the new measures, which state that only factories with dormitories on-site may reopen, while only ten percent of factories meet this standard.

“We have requested that the task force consider allowing employees who remain at their residences to work in the factories if they test negative for Covid-19 without a 14-day quarantine,” said a representative of the LNCCI.

Private sector actors hope to persuade the Taskforce to decide upon a standard of rapid test kits so that Covid-19 tests could be easily administered to personnel upon entry at workplaces.

Some factory operators have expressed concern that crowded quarantine centers are counterproductive, causing the further spread of Covid-19 among their workers rather than preventing it.

Instead, they have asked the National Taskforce to allow factory workers to self-isolate at their homes.

The LNCCI has also recommended that the government allow private sector participation in the construction of field quarantine facilities for factory workers close to factory sites, easing the burden on the state budget.