Health authorities call on shopping centres to join fight against Covid-19

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Health authorities have called on shopping centres, hotels and restaurants to continue to closely monitor their premises and customers in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

There has still been no confirmed case of the virus in Laos to date. 

Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Ministry of Health, Dr Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, told a press conference on Tuesday they had so far been successful in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

This was partly due to tourism-related businesses heeding the call to comply with basic precautionary measures.

Health officials are urging hotels to check the temperature of guests before allowing them to stay. In addition, schools are screening teachers and students on entry to their premises. The Vientiane Center shopping mall, Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) and other shopping centres have been asked to carry out screening measures while the threat of the virus persists.

The government is urging everyone to be on their guard and take precautions such as distancing themselves from people with coughs.

Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, Dr Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, said that although there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Laos, festivals and other events have been cancelled or postponed to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We need to work together to strengthen disease prevention and control,” he said.

The ministry also requests people who have any flu-like symptoms and are entering Laos from an outbreak area to inform health workers at their port of entry.

UNICEF says that the coronavirus can survive for 12 hours on a metal surface, so it is essential for everyone to wash their hands with soap and water frequently. On fabric, the virus can survive for up to nine hours, so washing clothes or exposing them to the sun for two hours can kill the pathogen.

The virus can live on a person’s hands for 10 minutes, but using an alcohol steriliser can help prevent its survival.

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