onsdag 19. mai 2021

Golden Triangle Tourist Zone in Laos a Hotbed for COVID 19

Laos is struggling to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in a popular tourist district that caters to Chinese gamblers, while in neighboring Cambodia, food insecurity is causing the country’s poor to collect scrap metal to buy food, authorities and residents of the Southeast Asian countries said Monday. Dr. Sisavath Southanilaxay, deputy director of Laos’ Department of Infectious Disease, and a representative of the country’s COVID-19 protection unit, told a news conference Monday that the country had confirmed 47 new cases of the coronavirus.

Of these, 38 were in Bokeo province, home to the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which caters to Chinese tourists. Additionally, authorities found four new cases in the capital Vientiane, three in Champassak province, and two in Savannakhet province. Bokeo is one of Laos’ hotspots for local COVID-19 transmission. Local media reported Monday that of the northwestern province’s 345 confirmed cases, 199 were Laotians, and 95 were Chinese. The rest were 41 Myanmar citizens, nine Thais and one Vietnamese. The Thailand-based Manager Online news website Friday reported that most of the province’s transmissions have occurred within the SEZ, with the rest occurring in nearby Tonpheung district.

A member of the province’s Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control told RFA’s Lao Service May 12 that lax enforcement on movement restrictions were to blame for increasing caseloads.