Both Laos and Cambodia now locked down

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Both Laos and Cambodia now locked down

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Laos follows Cambodia into lockdown as Covid numbers rise

April 22, 2021

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh has ordered a two-week lockdown in Vientiane after a surge in confirmed Covid-19 cases, believed to have begun during the Lao New Year holiday period last week.

He said the order was effective from today and would last at least until May 5 with all international borders closed alongside provincial borders. Residents in the capital are banned from leaving their homes except for essential tasks.

Laos, like Cambodia, emerged relatively unscathed from the first year of the pandemic but that has since changed. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Laos is now 88, with 49 recoveries and no deaths. However, 28 of those cases have been recorded in the last three days.

Observers in Laos, who declined to be named because they feared the government, said anecdotal evidence suggested those numbers are much higher and the one-party communist state had not done enough to protect the public against the disease.

“Basically, they have just sat and hoped it would go away. Now they are worried, the numbers are up and there’s little they can do about it,” said one resident.

Laos has vaccinated just 0.4 percent of its population.

Gatherings must not exceed 20 people, and the prime minister said ceremonies such as funerals must be held with extreme care and in line with Covid-19 prevention measures.

The order was issued as neighboring Cambodia entered its second week of lockdowns, with people in red zones, cutting across large swathes of Phnom Penh, confined to their homes.

Outside those zones people are allowed out three times a week to buy food and essentials. Markets have closed and, fearing a food shortage, vendors have been allowed to sell fresh produce from street corners a block apart from each other. Meat sellers are operating from the back of utility vehicles.

Complaints over price gouging persist and supermarket stocks are dwindling.

Cambodia has confirmed 7,747 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths, almost all since its third community outbreak of the UK variant of the disease, which was traced to two Chinese women who breached quarantine after bribing a hotel guard in Phnom Penh on Feb. 20.

The response has been harsh amid rising discontent highlighted by a video that went viral online which showed security guards on motorbikes caning people with bamboo sticks for not wearing masks, breaching health rules or breaking a nighttime curfew.

Cambodia’s Interior Minister Sar Kheng has called on authorities to refrain from using violence when enforcing coronavirus restrictions.

“I am taking this opportunity to remind all relevant authorities to perform their tasks with patience, maintain discipline with a dignified attitude, adhere to the force’s code of ethics, and especially to avoid using any violence to resolve problems when implementing the government’s order,” he said.

Heavy fines and jail terms have been imposed for those who breach health rules, with local police confirming 127 people had been arrested in recent days.

Of the latest incidents, seven Vietnamese were arrested while attempting to cross their border illegally and four Cambodians have been jailed for one year for holding a karaoke party where they broke laws regarding an alcohol ban and social gatherings.

https://www.ucanews.com/news/laos-follo ... rise/92202#
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Laos locks down capital over virus outbreak tied to Thailand

April 22, 2021

BANGKOK — Laos locked down its capital and closed its international borders to most traffic Thursday after identifying a COVID-19 cluster connected to its bigger neighbour Thailand.

Residents of the capital Vientiane are barred from leaving the city and outsiders must get permission to enter. Its international borders were closed except to trucks carrying goods and in cases allowed by the nation's COVID-19 taskforce, state news agency KPL reported.

It said the lockdown order signed by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh also prohibits all Vientiane residents from leaving their homes except for essential food shopping, hospital visits and other authorized tasks. The restrictions last until May 5.

The report said they were ordered after 28 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to 88. The total population of Laos is about 7.5 million, including about 700,000 in Vientiane.

The government-owned Vientiane Times reported on its website that 26 of the 28 new cases are residents of the capital who had contact with a student at the National University of Laos who had caught the virus from a Thai man. It said the other two were workers who had returned from Thailand to the southern province of Champassak.

Neighbouring Thailand is fighting its worst wave of the illness but has not imposed a national lockdown this year so far, though many provinces have ordered quarantines for visitors, especially from places with active outbreaks.

Thai officials reported 1,470 new cases Thursday, pushing the total past 48,000. It also reported seven deaths, its highest for a single day, bringing total fatalities to 117.

Vientiane was locked down April 1-19 last year after the country’s first nine COVID-19 cases were reported.

Under the new restrictions, all gatherings of more than 20 people, including wedding parties, cultural festivals and religious activities are prohibited, and entertainment venues, bars, massage parlours and gyms are closed.

Enterprises deemed essential and allowed to keep operating include hospitals, banks, supermarkets, restaurants and public utilities.

KPL reported that the Foreign Ministry has been instructed to help facilitate the exit of foreigners who wish to return to their home countries.

https://www.burnabynow.com/coronavirus- ... nd-3655146

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Re: Both Laos and Cambodia now locked down

Post by Jun »

Laos has a median age of 24 and another thing that's immediately obvious is obesity is much less of a problem than in Thailand or western countries.
As these are both factors which influence the impact of Covid, the impact of any outbreak ought to be less severe.

Cambodia has a median age of 25 and again, obesity is obviously less frequent here as well.

I suppose Laos has a potential advantage from lower population density.

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