The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Ministry of Health, Dr Lasmy Vongkhamsao, urged everyone to follow these measures while providing an update on the Covid-19 outbreak at a news conference on Thursday.
She said that while it is important for people to continue to exercise, the lockdown remains in place and all related measures must be strictly adhered to. She urged people to exercise within their homes, rather than travelling to any central location to exercise together.
The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced 65 new cases of infections, with the total number now standing at 1,482. The positive test results were obtained after testing 4,143 samples for the virus on May 12.
Teams in each province are collecting detailed information about the movements and contacts of those who tested positive. Vientiane recorded 26 of the new cases, while there were 24 cases in Tonpheung district in Bokeo. Champassak recorded 12 new cases, and Savannakhet saw three cases, and all of these were imported.
Vientiane now has the highest number of cases, followed by Bokeo province, and Champassak.
Health authorities confirmed recently that the strain of Covid-19 currently being recorded in Laos is the UK variant, which is known to be more infectious and deadlier than previous strains.
As part of efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the government and local authorities have imposed travel restrictions and banned people from leaving their homes, unless necessary.
Health officials have urged anyone, who believes they have come in contact with an infected person, to self-isolate for 14 days. People who need to leave their homes are advised to wear a face mask, regularly wash their hands with soap, and avoid touching their mouth and eyes.
The task force said new strains of Covid-19 can affect everyone, including young children and older people.
The surge in infections raises the likelihood of a fresh outbreak in Laos, even as the number of cases increases in neighbouring countries.
To date, 3,483 people are at quarantine facilities across the country, and all have been tested for the virus. Of the 1,482 known cases, 431 people have been discharged from hospitals and others remain in Mitthaphab Hospital in Vientiane and in health facilities in Savannakhet, Champassak and Luang Prabang provinces until they twice test negative and can be discharged. One death from Covid-19 has been reported.
Officials said that the standards at quarantine centres will be improved, along with testing among suspect and at-risk groups.
Southwest China's Yunnan Province recently donated a batch of anti-epidemic supplies worth approximately 650,000 yuan (around 100,841 U.S. dollars) to Laos to help the country fight against Covid-19.
The supplies that include 600,000 face masks and 3,000 protective suits have been provided by Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture for five provinces in northern Laos including Bokeo and Oudomsay.
Wu Chunhua, deputy head of the Xishuangbanna prefectural government, said that China and Laos are good neighbors and solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons in the fight against Covid-19.
As of Friday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Laos has risen to 1,498, with 513 patients discharged from hospital after recovery. - Vientiane Times/ANN