VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN):Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh has instructed the southern provinces to improve and open more quarantine centres and hospitals to handle the expected influx of more migrant workers from neighbouring countries.
He made the suggestion during a working trip to the south and talks with authorities in Champassak, Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu provinces last week.
In recent weeks, numerous migrant workers have returned to the southern provinces from neighbouring countries, mainly Thailand which is a popular place of employment for Lao workers.
They are now flocking home as Thailand is experiencing a widespread outbreak of Covid-19, which has overwhelmed treatment facilities in that country.
In light of the influx, the premier told local authorities to open more and improve existing quarantine centres, hospitals, and makeshift hospitals to house the returnees.
Earlier, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control ordered the dispatch of more medical staff, medicines and equipment to provinces in Laos with high numbers of returnees and Covid cases.
PM Phankham told provincial authorities to work with their counterparts in Thailand to facilitate the return of migrant workers and prepare to accommodate them.
He also asked local authorities to accelerate the vaccination programme in accordance with plans.
Authorities were told to register all returnees to create a database that could be used when recruiting people for jobs in the future.
The prime minister visited frontline officials engaged in the mission to tackle the Covid crisis. He also visited people undergoing treatment for Covid-19 in Champassak province. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network