Chinese medical team boosts Lao people's confidence in fighting pandemic

VIENTIANE (Xinhua): A team of Chinese medical experts has visited the northern Laos where the Covid-19 virus is ravaging, boosting Lao people's confidence to win the war against the pandemic.

"The training given by the Chinese medical team has helped us solve critical problems and boosted our confidence in putting out the Covid-19 outbreak," a local epidemic prevention and control staff in Bokeo province said while commenting on the professional training for the local staff by the Chinese medical experts.

The Chinese medical experts, along with medical materials, arrived in Laos on May 4 to help the country fight the virus.

From May 9 to 14, the Chinese medical experts visited four northern Lao provinces of Luang Prabang, Bokeo, Oudomxay and Luang Namtha to assess the situation of the epidemic and provide suggestions and guidance to local health authorities and medical staff.

They also trained and answered questions from the local medical staff, optimized treatment for confirmed Covid-19 patients, visited local virology testing laboratories as well as quarantine centers and vaccination sites, fed back their assessments to the local governments and put forward rectification options for prevention and control of the virus, among others.

Khamdy Sintham is an interpreter for the Chinese medical experts in Oudomxay, about 310 km north of Lao capital Vientiane by aerial distance, and also a doctor of the provincial hospital.

After on-site training, Khamdy learned how to put on and take off the protective clothing. He entered the isolation wards for the first time with the Chinese medical experts.

Khamdy said he had gained more knowledge about the disease by professional training which also dispersed his fear of the virus.

Knowing that the only confirmed Covid-19 patient in Luang Namtha Provincial Hospital, some 360km north of Vientiane, was feeling quite nervous about the disease, the Chinese medical experts took the initiative to apply for entering the isolation ward to visit the patient.

After chatting with the Chinese medical experts and getting psychological counseling, the patient's fear for the disease was eased. The patient gave a thumbs-up to the Chinese medical experts, and believed that he would recover soon.

At the Covid-19 vaccination centre in Luang Prabang Province, some 220km north of Vientiane, the Chinese medical experts answered the questions raised by the vaccinators such as "how to choose the target population for Covid-19 vaccination" and "whether food allergies or other drug allergies matter in vaccination."

All the staff at the vaccination centre expressed their gratitude to and asked for group photos with the Chinese experts.

In Bokeo Province, some 350km northwest of Vientiane, which borders China, Myanmar and Thailand and where the epidemic is severe, after knowing that there is a lack of professional personnel for epidemic prevention and control, and that the work of epidemiological investigation, isolation and disinfection is only carried out by business staff and volunteers without special training, the Chinese medical experts worked overnight to prepare and improve the next day's medical training.

"The Chinese experts have travelled far and worked hard to help study and solve problems here and put forward valuable work suggestions. The Chinese experts team has set an example of Laos-China cooperation in the fight against the epidemic, and served as envoys of the friendship between the two countries," said Director-General of Bokeo's health department Bounyaveth Vongkhamsao when seeing off the Chinese colleagues.

The Chinese medical experts' work tour to the northern Laos was also hailed on internet.

"Thank you for your contribution," a Lao netizen named Somsouk Sayavongsa commented while following the news about their tour.

"Thanks to the Chinese government, (and to) an unbreakable community with a shared future!" said a netizen named Sythala Pathammavong.

Laos has been experiencing a surge of Covid-19 infections recently. The country confirmed 21 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total number to 1,591.

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