Laos-Vietnam international checkpoint still open

VIENTIANE: Laos authorities have confirmed that the Lao Bao-Dansavan International Checkpoint between Vietnam and Laos in Savannakhet province is open despite fears of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Local daily Vientiane Times on Saturday (March 21) quoted Savannakhet provincial officials as saying that the border crossing is fully operational and can only be closed by order of the central government.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith gave the order to temporarily close traditional and local level border crossings around the country to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak after a government meeting on Wednesday.

The smaller border crossings were not equipped with thermal tools to scan travellers, the premier noted.

"People need to travel through international borders around the country. They are not closed," Thongloun said.

Laos shares borders with the five countries of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia.

There are many types of border crossing such as international, tradition and local to support trade, investment, tourism, people-to-people exchanges in culture and tradition, said the report.

Staff at the Lao Bao-Dansavan International Checkpoint told local daily that there had been a noticeable drop in the number of travellers crossing the border this week and a steady decline since the end of 2019 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health confirmed nine new cases of novel coronavirus infection Thursday night, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 85.

So far no confirmed Covid-19 case has been reported in Laos. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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