Laos extends lockdown amid surge in COVID-19 cases hinh anh 1Local received COVID-19 vaccine in Vientiane, Lao on July 17 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) - The Lao government on July 19 decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another 15 days to help curb COVID-19 infections. This is the sixth extension since the lockdown was imposed on April 22.

In explaining the reason for the move, an official from Laos Prime Minister’s Office said that the situation in neighbouring countries remained risky and a large number of migrant workers return home to Laos every day.

Although community infection cases have decreased, the number of imported cases is still increasing. Therefore, the Lao Government will continue to strengthen the contact tracing of COVID-19 cases in the community for treatment and accelerating vaccination to achieve the set target in 2021.

The notice outlines a gradual loosening of lockdown measures with certain strict measures to remain in place. Restaurants, karaoke, entertainment venues, massage parlors continue to be closed, as are all factories operating in the "red zone", except for those where employees have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and have dormitories on the premises.

As of noon July 19, the country recorded a total of 3,540 cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths.

The same day, Cambodia's Ministry of Health announced 790 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 67,971 cases. The country also recorded 22 more deaths, raising the number of fatalities to 1,128.

This Southeast Asian country started vaccination against COVID-19 on February 10. As of July 18, about 10 million doses of the vaccine had been administered, with 5.91 million people having received the first dose and 4.13 million people having received two doses. Cambodia is aiming to vaccinate at least 10 million of its 16 million population by November./.