VIENTIANE, June 20 (Vientiane Times/ANN): Despite the drop in the number of new Covid-19 infections, lockdown restrictions remain essential to keep the virus from spreading, said the Laos government on Sunday.
Over the past two months, people have been hoping the virus would be brought under control, but new cases continue to occur each day.
The government has extended the nationwide lockdown for another 15 days, even though only three new cases were reported on Saturday.
However, it seems that more people are now concerned about poverty than the virus because many are losing income and facing financial hardship.
They are hoping for government assistance but no measures have been announced in this regard.
The three new cases of Covid-19 reported on Saturday bring the total number to date to 2, 050. Two of the new infections were recorded in Vientiane and were community-acquired, with Champassak recording one case that is believed to be imported.
The new cases were revealed after 1, 486 samples were tested on June 18.
Meanwhile, 1, 935 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals while others remain in Mitthaphab Hospital in Vientiane and Savannakhet, Champassak provincial hospitals until they twice test negative for the virus, according to the National Taskforce for Covid-10 Prevention and Control.
Speaking on behalf of the taskforce, Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control, Dr Sisavath Soutthaniraxay, said that although the number of new infections is falling, the government has extended the lockdown for another 15 days because the virus continues to spread in Vientiane.
The two latest cases reported in Vientiane involve a person known to have come into contact with an infected individual, while health workers are trying to trace another person from Phonsinuan village in Sisattanak district who tested positive for the virus.
Covid-19 prevention measures such as temperature checks, social distancing, wearing of facemasks, and use of hand sanitiser remain in force at all shops, minimarts and supermarkets, as well as at fresh markets and other areas of risk.
Dr Sisavath urged everyone to continue to comply with all the measures laid down by the Covid-19 taskforce to keep the virus under control.
A total of 3, 865 people have been admitted to 42 quarantine centres across the country and samples taken from them are being tested for the virus. - Vientiane Times/ANN