It is common for returning migrants to enter Laos undetected by crossing the Mekong River at places where there are no immigration facilities. This means they are not screened for the virus or quarantined as the regulations require.
The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control recently instructed authorities in Savannakhet, Saravan and Xayaboury provinces to record the details of people entering Laos.
These provinces are considered at high risk for the spread of the virus as they border populous Thailand, and the border between Laos and Thailand is porous. Local authorities continue to face challenges in monitoring people at border crossings and providing assistance to returning workers affected by the pandemic.
Savannakhet, Saravan and Xayaboury authorities are strengthening Covid-19 screening and quarantine procedures for Lao nationals returning from Thailand.
Meanwhile, Laos has detected two more Covid-19 cases, with its total number of infections rising to 60.
Director General of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Lao Ministry of Health, Phonepadith Xangsayarath, told a press conference here on Tuesday that the two new cases include a 25-year-old woman living in capital Vientiane, who had a close contact with illegal immigrants from Thailand on April 8.
Another case is a 28-year-old woman, a Lao national who entered the country back from Thailand on April 19.
The number of Covid-19 new cases in Laos increased rapidly in this month, said Phonepadith.
Phonepadith stressed that all Lao citizens and foreign residents should comply with Covid-19 prevention and control measures, as well as remaining vigilant and being mindful of the dangers posed by the Covid-19.
He added that authorities must work harder on monitoring borders to prevent illegal entry into Laos, and local authorities must coordinate more closely to share accurate information.
Up to Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases of Covid--19 in Laos is 60, with nine people undergoing treatment in hospitals.
Laos confirmed its first two Covid-19 cases on March 24 last year. - Vientiane Times/ANN