(KPL) Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith told foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations that there is no Covid-19 infection case in the Lao PDR.
“However, since the country is geographically surrounded and has people traveling from infected countries, Laos is at high risk. Therefore, the government is focusing on suppression, prevention and response measures against a possible Covid-19 outbreak,” Minister Saleumxay told the conference co-hosted by Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Phouthone Meuangpak.
Schools, universities and other educational institutes across the country have been ordered to close for a month beginning from Mar 19 to Apr 21, 2020. Meanwhile local and traditional border checkpoints across the country have been closed. Immigration control at international border checkpoints has been tightened amid fear of Covid-19.
In respond to the latest developments in the Covid-19 outbreak around the world, the Lao PDR has imposed visa measures, additional to those already in place, to reduce the risk of importation of the virus from abroad.
These include the suspension of issuing visa on arrival for all nationals and E-visa as well as tourist visa at Lao diplomatic missions located overseas.
The practicing of visa exemption for ASEAN nationals and those from the countries that have signed with the Lao PDR agreements on unilateral and bilateral visa exemption has also been suspended.
Holders of diplomatic and official passports will not be affected by the additional measures.
Visas will be only issued to visitors who intend to visit the Lao PDR with non tourist purposes and they have to summit requisite information on the health and related documents to the Lao diplomatic missions in their countries of residence for approval before the intended date of travel.
Visitors who arrive in the Lao PDR without necessary approval will be denied entry into the country.
The above-mentioned measures will enter into force from 00 hour of 20th March 2020 to 00 hour of 20th April 2020.
Hospital 103, Mittaphab Hospital, Mahosot Hospital and Xaysettha Hospital, all located in Vientiane Capital, have been announced by the government as a designated Covid-19 hospital.
Source: Lao News Agency