Covid Case Numbers Spike Amid Omicron Outbreak in Laos

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Lottery vendors wear facemasks as part of Covid-19 prevention measures (Photo: AK).
Lottery vendors wear facemasks as part of Covid-19 prevention measures (Photo: AK).

The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has predicted a significant increase in the number of new cases of Covid-19 after daily cases spike this week.

Daily cases jumped to over 700 on Monday after seeing lows of under 200 cases per day just weeks prior.

During an announcement earlier this week, Deputy-Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, Dr. Sisavath Soutthanilaxay, urged residents across Laos to continue to comply with Covid-19 prevention measures and get vaccinated.

He said that those who receive a positive result from a rapid antigen test kit should register their result with the Taskforce via the Center of Information and Education for Health Facebook page.

Those with mild symptoms should take care of themselves at home and try to separate themselves from other family members, according to health officials.

The uptick in daily Covid cases has the Ministry of Health concerned that the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant may be becoming the dominant strain.

Meanwhile, cases are surging in neighboring countries as well, with Thailand recording 23,945 cases today, and Vietnam seeing 175,480 cases yesterday.

Thai media has begun reporting cases of a new Omicron subvariant, labeled the BA.2.2 “stealth” strain, because it contains genetic mutations that make it harder to distinguish from the delta variant using PCR tests.

The strain has already been detected in one foreigner and three Thais, according to Thai PBS World.