Laos now COVID-19 free

Tourists walk in front of the Patuxay in Vientiane, Laos.

Vientiane, (Asian independent) The Laos government announced that the country had overcome COVID-19, after discharging the last of its 19 hospitalized patients and not having registered any new cas in 59 days, local media reported Saturday.

“Laos has won a major victory in the first campaign against this ruthless enemy,” Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced at a press conference on Friday, local website The Laotian Times reported.

The isolated nation of Laos was one of the last countries to detect the first cases of COVID-19 within its borders, on March 24, when a 36-year-old tourist guide who had accompanied a group of Europeans with the coronavirus and a 28-year-old man who had attended a conference in Bangkok were diagnosed, reports Efe news.

The delay occurred largely as a consequence of the lack of tests and, to date, 8,926 have been carried out in this country of just over 7 million inhabitants, where only 19 cases have been detected and no deaths have occurred, according to collected data on the website of the National Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

The country imposed strict measures to contain the pandemic on May 30, which included the mandatory quarantine of all citizens except to buy essential goods or visit hospitals, the prohibition of travel to other provinces and the total closure of its borders, as well as establishments such as bars, restaurants or gyms.

The measures were easedat the end of May, with the opening of educational centres or the authorization of sporting events, although if spectators, and also that of movie theatres, but the borders remain closed, except in special cases and with express authorization.