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Laos Government Wants Locked Down Citizens in Thailand Repatriated

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Laos Government Wants Locked Down Citizens in Thailand Repatriated

The Government of Laos has asked Thailand to facilitate the return of Lao workers to their country to escape the Covid-19 outbreak that left many jobless and destitute.

The call was made by Lao National Assembly President Xaysomphone Phomvihane to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai in talks on Tuesday, the Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

Mr Xaysomphone said Lao workers in the kingdom needed assistance from the Thai government, particularly those who wanted to go back to Laos after losing their jobs because of the pandemic.

The coronavirus surge has shut down numerous businesses, especially those in 29 provinces hit hardest by the outbreak and now under lockdown.

Almost 250,000 Lao workers have left Thailand since the virus hit the country last year — and 30% of them tested positive upon crossing the border to Laos, according to the Vientiane Times.

Thailand battling Delta Variant

Meanwhile, Thailand recorded 301 new Covid-19 fatalities and 20,902 new cases over the past 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported on Thursday morning. Over the past 24 hours, 22,208 Covid-19 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals.

Since April 1, around when the third wave of Covid-19 began, there have been 960,996 Covid-19 patients, 747,901 of whom have recovered. The death toll was at 8,492 the third wave and 8,586 from the beginning of the pandemic early last year.

The government is still defended its mix-and-match approach to vaccinating the population, with about 1 million people being first injected with the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine and three weeks later with the AstraZeneca version.

This combination has been proven in studies by the country’s leading teaching universities to provide better protection against Covid-19 infection and decrease the risk of severe disease and death, Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), said on Wednesday.

She cited results of recent studies into the efficacy of combining a first shot of Sinovac Covid-19 with a second shot of AstraZeneca in the government’s vaccine rollout, that were conducted and reported on by the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University, Ramathibodi Hospital and Siriraj Hospital.

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