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Vietnam’s ‘invaluable assistance’ spurs Laos’ Covid-19 containment effort

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The latest shipment of aid from Vietnam arrives in Vientiane on Tuesday and includes two million face masks, 10 tonnes of disinfectant and other materials, as well as more than 4.7 billion kip ($500,000) in cash. SUPPLIED

Vietnam’s ‘invaluable assistance’ spurs Laos’ Covid-19 containment effort

Invaluable assistance provided by the government of Vietnam has significantly boosted the Lao government’s effort to battle the Covid-19 outbreak, officials say.

The Vietnamese government has provided medical specialists and staff, funds and medical equipment worth billions of kip to help Laos contain the outbreak.

The latest shipment of aid from Vietnam arrived in Vientiane on May 4 as Laos struggles to contain the virus outbreak, which has forced authorities to order a nationwide lockdown.

The shipment included two million face masks, 10 tonnes of disinfectant and other materials, as well as more than 4.7 billion kip ($500,000) in cash.

The Vietnamese medical team includes experts in fields such as infection prevention and control, intensive care, epidemics, and lab tests.

Welcoming the arrival of medical personnel and supplies at Wattay International Airport, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune said: “We will make full use of the materials.”

Kikeo, who is also chairman of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, expressed gratitude to the Vietnamese government and people for their kind assistance. Vietnam has been an active provider of assistance to Laos to help the country’s fight against Covid-19 and has already provided a number of aid packages.

On May 3, the People’s Army of Vietnam sent four medical specialists and equipment to bolster Laos’ response to the outbreak. The supplies were handed over at the Nam Phao international checkpoint.

At the start of the pandemic, Vietnam provided similar assistance, delivering medical supplies worth more than two billion kip on April 3 last year. The shipment included 330,000 face masks, 1,000 sets of protective clothing and other essential equipment.

As the outbreak in Laos escalates, the total number of infections has exceeded 1,000, forcing authorities to set up makeshift hospitals to provide sufficient treatment facilities.

Lao government officials said Vietnam’s assistance has significantly contributed to efforts to prevent and control the spread of the virus.

On several occasions, the leaders of Laos and Vietnam have pledged to work together and help each other to combat the pandemic.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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