An anti-COVID-19 medical expert team sent by the Chinese government, along with China-donated medical supplies, arrived at the Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, capital of Laos, on May 4.
Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, Lao deputy prime minister and chair of the Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control of Laos, and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong greeted the expert team at the airport.
Since April this year, new confirmed indigenous COVID-19 cases have been reported in Laos, triggering local transmission. Since April 20, the number of confirmed cases has increased by more than 10 times in over ten days, and COVID-19 has spread to 15 provincial-level regions across the country. Overloading of designated hospitals and nucleic acid testing sites nationwide poses a severe challenge to the Lao medical system.
The Lao government has elevated the fight against the virus to an important and urgent strategic task and has rolled out "wartime" measures to strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control. All of the 18 provincial-level regions have been under closed-off management.
According to the figures reported by its Task Force Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, as of 12:00 on May 4 Laos had reported 1,026 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune expressed sincere appreciation for and spoke highly of China's timely dispatch of medical experts and supplies to Laos, and said that this reflects the long-term care from the Chinese side for the Lao government and people.
Laos firmly believes that the arrival of the Chinese anti-pandemic medical expert team will contribute to the country's COVID-19 containment efforts and its victory in combating the virus, he said.
Based on the situation of the outbreaks in Laos, China selected 25 experts in epidemiology, disinfection, laboratory testing, infection management and intensive care to provide the Lao side with targeted assistance in COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment protocols, medical technologies, pandemic response capabilities, pandemic investigation and judgment and related matters.