Laos: Strict rules to enter country, says Covid-19 task force

VIENTIANE, Oct 18 (The Vientiane Times/ANN): Lao and foreign nationals wanting to enter Laos from countries with no community outbreak of coronavirus are required to obtain a certificate indicating they have tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of departure from their country of origin.

This was one of the criteria detailed in a notice issued by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control for entry into Laos.

It comes as the government is introducing Covid-19 prevention and control measures, which now permit people from countries with no community outbreak to enter Laos if they meet the specified criteria.

Upon arrival in Laos, incomers will again be tested for Covid-19 and will be quarantined at a designated location for 48 hours while they await the test results.

The taskforce will consider, based on the outbreak situation in incomers’ country of origin, whether to allow new arrivals to continue quarantining at home, their workplace or a hotel for the remainder of the requisite 14-day period.

Previously, people entering Laos were required to spend the 14-day quarantine period only at places designated by the taskforce.

If a Lao national tests negative and is allowed to continue to quarantine at home until the 14 days have passed, local authorities and his or her family are required to ensure he or she strictly observes the instructions issued by the taskforce during the quarantine period.

The instructions include daily temperature checks, regular washing of hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitiser, not going out, maintaining social distancing, and calling the hotline number 165 or 166 if feeling unwell.

If a foreign national tests negative for the virus and is allowed to continue to quarantine at their home, workplace or hotel for the remainder of the 14 day period, he or she may work so long as the workplace is not crowded.

The person’s company or employer is required to follow up and report the circumstances to local authorities. The person being quarantined is also required to comply with the same instructions given to Lao nationals.

Different rules will be applied to foreign tour groups entering Laos so that foreign tourists do not need to spend 14 days in quarantine.

However, each member of a foreign tour group must obtain a Covid-19 test certificate within 72 hours of departure and a 14-day quarantine certificate issued by the country from which they are departing. If all members test negative upon arrival in Laos, tour groups can travel in accordance with their programme.

Any incomer who tests positive upon entry into Laos will be isolated and sent to hospital for observation and possible treatment.

People coming to Laos from countries with a community outbreak of the virus will be quarantined for 14 days at centres designated by the taskforce.

Laos reported its last verified case of Covid-19 on Sept 10. There have been 23 confirmed cases in the country with 22 patients discharged from hospital.

Worldwide, more than 38.7 million people have been confirmed as infected with the virus. Of which, more than 1.09 million have died. More than 29 million people have been discharged, according to the taskforce.

Meanwhile, the taskforce said it has been monitoring 2,621 people across the country over Covid-19 concerns.

Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health Latsamy Vongkhamsao, told a press conference in Lao capital Vientiane on Friday that some 1,870 people entering Laos through international border checkpoints on Thursday and the temperature of each person was checked before sending to quarantine center for 14 days.

A total of 2,621 people has been quarantined at 35 accommodation centers across the country, said Latsamy.

The Lao government continues to strictly monitor people entering Laos to prevent a second wave of Covid-19.

The Lao government has advised people and relevant authorities not to neglect containment and preventive measures.

Laos has tested 59,448 suspected cases with 23 cases tested positive, and 22 patients have recovered.

The remaining active case is being treated at the designated hospital, Mittaphab Hospital (Hospital 150) in Lao capital Vientiane.

Laos announced its first two Covid-19 confirmed cases on March 24. - Vientiane Times/Asian News Network

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