A Buddhist monk lights candles during the Festival of Lights in Muang Khua, Laos, in this file photo. The communist nation is extending coronavirus lockdown measures after a rise in cases. (Photo: AFP)
Laos is extending lockdown measures after a surge in Covid-19 cases in the landlocked communist nation.
Restrictions will continue until Aug. 3 after 114 new cases were confirmed on July 19, taking the country’s total to 3,540. All the new cases were imported by people entering Laos, mainly migrant workers returning from neighboring countries.
Laos now has 1,224 active cases, while the death toll remains at five, with 6,030 people in quarantine.
A government spokesman said that despite controlling the community spread of the virus well within Laos, the situation in neighboring countries remains unstable, with large numbers of migrant workers returning home to Laos each day.
Under the extended lockdown, pubs and bars, entertainment venues, cinemas, snooker halls and internet cafes are to remain closed.
Contact sports such as football and martial arts remain prohibited in any province with an outbreak.
Entry into red zones will remain prohibited. Gatherings or parties may not be held at any location
All factories and handicraft operations in red zones are to close except for those where employees have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and have dormitories on site, or those producing essential materials.
Entry into red zones will remain prohibited. Gatherings or parties may not be held at any location.
Health protocols such as temperature checks, social distancing, wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer will remain in place.
Shopping malls, shops, supermarkets, minimarts, night markets and fresh markets that comply with Covid-19 measures may remain open.
Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, deputy head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told media that the situation in neighboring countries remained risky and many migrant workers returned home to Laos every day.