Laos sees good progress of COVID-19 vaccination programme hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Lao National Radio)
Hanoi (VNA) – The COVID-19 vaccination programme is underway in Laos, with the majority of people in target groups having their first shot of the vaccine.

Lao media quoted local authorities as saying that 85 percent of the target population have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of April 4, some 103,000 people in at-risk groups had received their first shot, while 6,171 people have got the second shot. The Lao government plans to vaccinate at least 150,000 people in the initial phase of the programme.

The vaccination drive is part of the COVID-19 prevention and control plan which health authorities are going all out to implement in a bid to keep the virus under control.

The vaccination programme has been expanded to cover more target groups in addition to health workers.

Civil servants and officials from ministries, ministry-equivalent organisations, local departments, foreign embassies, international organisations and their families, as well as some businesses categorised as being at risk, are now targeted under the expanded programme.

An earlier report said that about 22 percent of the population, or about 1.6 million people, will be vaccinated in 2021.

Vaccination coverage is expected to rise to 70 percent of the population by 2022, with more people to be vaccinated in the following years.

The Lao Ministry of Health asked everyone to be mindful of the risks posed by the pandemic. Authorities and people must strictly follow government guidelines concerning virus prevention measures.

Laos has now confirmed 58 cases of COVID-19, with nine people undergoing treatment in hospitals.
On the same day, the Cambodian Ministry of Health confirmed 624 new coronavirus cases.

Despite the lockdown, Phnom Penh still reported the highest number of new patients, with 465 tested positive for the coronavirus on April 18.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 19 announced new measures to be implemented in Phnom Penh and nearby Takhmao city, which are called “Red Zones”.

The new measures are aimed to strengthen the current lockdown of the capital and Takhmao city, which started on April 14 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the supplemental measures instituted on April 17.

Authorities will take immediate action to distribute emergency aid, including rice, noodles, canned fish, fish sauce and soy sauce to vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged people in the Red Zones.

The Ministry of Commerce will arrange for the supply, transportation and distribution of food, including rice and drinking water as well as other essential food items to sell to people living in Red Zones by implementing a systematic sales service.

Cambodia has so far recorded a total of 7,013 COVID-19 infections, including 6,470 cases linked to the February 20 community infection event./.