ADB approves 20-mln-USD loan to help Laos fight COVID-19 hinh anh 1A Lao man wears face mask when doing exercise (Source: Time)

Vientiane (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on May 25 approved a loan worth 20 million USD to support Laos’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its statement, the bank said that the loan is additional financing to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Health Security Project in order to help the Lao Health Ministry in procuring personal protective equipment, laboratory equipment, testing kits, medical devices, and ambulances.

It will also help the government provide supplies and training to frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, lab testing, and clinical care for COVID-19 patients, and cover the government’s costs for contact tracing, risk communications, and other interventions.

ADB Health Specialist Ye Xu said that the additional financing will boost the resources and capacity of the Lao health system to address the impacts of the pandemic.

“The Lao PDR has been managing the outbreak relatively well, thanks to improved communicable disease surveillance and response capacity over the last decade. It still needs to maintain maximum preparedness and strengthen the health care service system to be able to respond to any resurgence of COVID-19,” Ye added.

As of May 25, Laos reported only 19 COVID-19 cases, with 14 given the all-clear. However, ADB said that the country is highly vulnerable, as the outbreak in the region forces many migrant workers to return from heavily affected neighboring countries. The health system, with limited medical personnel, supplies, and equipment, could be overwhelmed by the rapid spread of the virus./.