Lockdown extended to special economic zone

Authorities have imposed a lockdown on the Boten Special Economic Zone in Luang Namtha province after two Chinese nationals who were believed to be Covid-19 positive were reported to have travelled through the province.

A lockdown is now in force in two places. Authorities in neighbouring Bokeo province locked down Tonpheung district on Friday after learning that the two infected Chinese nationals had also passed through the province.

The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Saturday ordered the lockdowns for a period of 14 days.

It was learnt that two Chinese nationals on Nov 24 illegally entered Tonpheung district from Tachileik province in neighbouring Myanmar where they had worked in a karaoke club.

They spent three days in Bokeo.

On Nov 27, the pair arrived at the Boten Special Economic Zone and stayed there until Dec 2, when they illegally crossed the border into China. They were detained by Chinese officers and tested positive for Covid-19.

Chinese authorities informed their Lao counterparts about the incident.

The National Taskforce asked the subsidiary taskforces in Boten and Luang Namtha provinces to trace seven people believed to have been in direct contact with the two and those to have been in direct contact with the seven people in order to test them for the virus.

The provincial taskforces were instructed to collect samples from anyone having Covid-19-like symptoms and to carry out tests.

They were also asked to scrutinise anyone entering Bokeo or Luang Namtha and to strictly enforce Covid-19 prevention and control measures in their provinces.

In Tonpheung, travel within the district has also been suspended, except for essential trips such as hospital visits, but such trips must be approved by village authorities. — Vientiane Times/ANN

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