Vientiane (VNA) Laos’ Ministry of Health has advised local residents to reduce the scale of festivals and only conduct traditional rituals during this year’s peak festival season in order to avoid mass gathering and prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to ensure people with low income can access COVID-19 treatment drug and minimise the increase of fatal cases, the ministry has proposed the Lao Government assist the production of its antiviral drug molnupiravir with the trade name of Molacovir.

The proposal was given in the context of rising demand for Molacovir in the country, while the State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3 – the medicine manufacturer in Laos, hoped to receive support of 50 percent of cost for necessary substances or 30 percent of fee for a treatment therapy.

As of January 17, the Southeast Asian country had reported 125,333 COVID-19 infections, with 497 deaths./.