Laos locks down capital Vientiane for two weeks due to Covid-19 case surge
Laos has locked down its capital Vientiane and banned travel between Covid-hit provinces, as cases hit a record high.
By March this year, Laos had reported fewer than 60 cases — though the low number was due in part to limited testing.
But a surge since mid-April has seen its cases steadily increase, and on Saturday the country reported 467 new cases of community infection, its highest ever single-day tally.
Vientiane’s mayor declared a strict lockdown on Sunday for two weeks, ordering residents to stay in their homes unless buying food, medicine or going to a hospital.
Travel between seven other hard-hit provinces is banned, while entry into Vientiane requires a quarantine of 14 days.
All public gatherings — even religious ceremonies — are also banned, as are activities including outdoor exercise and selling street food.
The surge in cases over the weekend was linked to fresh clusters found in the country’s garment factories, with the bulk of workers infected with the Delta strain.
Laos has so far recorded a total of 19,399 cases and 16 deaths.