COVID-19: Singapore, Laos to ease some social restrictions hinh anh 1A foreign worker in Singapore has his sample taken for COVID-19 testing on April 27 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Singapore and Laos are moving to ease some restrictions which have been imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Singaporean Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on May 2 that selected activities such as home-based businesses, laundry services and barbers will be allowed to operate from May 12. Some students will be allowed to go back to schools in small groups from May 19.

Some work premises will be allowed to gradually reopen, taking into account their importance to the economy and supply chains and their ability to minimise risks of transmission.

The city-state with a population of 5.7 million is among the countries with the highest number of infections in Asia, mainly due to outbreaks in cramped migrant workers dormitories. It has managed to curb the spread of the disease among locals outside the dormitories.

The Singaporean ministry reported 932 new COVID-19 cases on May 1, bringing the total confirmed cases there to 17,101. Among them, 1,268 have fully recovered and 1,764 are still under treatment, including 23 in critical condition.

In Laos, after more than one month strict measures against the coronavirus disease were applied, the Lao Government announced the easing of some restrictions on May 1, two days before the social distancing period is over on May 3, so as to gradually bring life back to normal.

In a press conference on May 1, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Douangdy said the number of COVID-19 patients in the country remained 19 as of April 30 afternoon, including eight given the all-clear, marking the 19th straight day without new cases in Laos.

This is the basis for the Lao Government to ease some restrictions from May 4 to 17.

For example, state agencies and businesses will be permitted to resume operations with their staff going to the workplace rotationally or working online from home, people can leave their houses and move within the provinces they are living in, and training programmes are allowed to take place in a province but with a limited number of participants.

Meanwhile, some other restrictions will remain in place like the bans on movement to other provinces; entertainment venues, restaurants, cinemas, karaoke and massage lounges, casinos, indoor sports centres and outdoor group sports; and gatherings with more than 10 people.

Deputy PM Somdy Douangdy noted those measures are just temporary, adding in case any provinces or cities in Laos record new COVID-19 cases, the previously applied lockdown and preventive measures will be re-applied strictly in those localities./.