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Laos tightens border controls to prevent Omicron variant

Laos tightens border controls to prevent Omicron variant

People in Laos are seen wearing face masks (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)   

NDO/VNA - Lao authorities have ordered stricter control at borders with neighbouring countries after the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was confirmed in Thailand on December 6.

Deputy Director of the Lao Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Department, Dr Sisavath Soutthanilaxay, said the country has imposed stronger measures and everyone entering Laos must provide a sample that can be tested for Omicron.

Lao workers were still returning from Thailand and could possibly bring the virus with them, said Director General of Laos’ Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Dr Phonepaseuth Ounaphom.

He added that the Lao government is speeding up the vaccination programme in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Health authorities have held meetings to discuss the best way to prevent the spread of Omicron in Laos and how to respond to this new threat.

Authorities have urged everyone to comply with government guidelines and get vaccinated.

Earlier, Laos banned people from nine African nations from entering the country to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.

In the past 24 hours, Laos reported 1,209 new COVID-19 cases and five fatalities.

As of December 8, the national tally reached 83,291, with 219 deaths.

The Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism drafted a plan to welcome tourists back in 2022 during a meeting held on December 7.

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