COVID-19: Vietnamese citizens in Laos, Thailand advised to stay calm
Hanoi, March 26 (VNA) – Vietnamese citizens in Laos and Thailand should stay calm and limit going out and returning home at this time as the COVID-19 is developing complicatedly. The Vietnamese Embassy in Laos said the host government is working out all possible measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. According to the embassy, a large nubmer of Lao workers in Thailand have flocked home in recent days to avoid the pandemic, and the figure is expected to increase in the time ahead. Despite this, the overseas Vietnamese community should not be panic but stay at home, minimise social interactions, and follow preventive measures of the Ministry of Health and regulations of the host country. The embassy recommended Vietnamese citizens in Laos reduce movement and home-returning trips at this time because there is a high risk of infections on public means of transport and the medical capacity at home in terms of testing, quarantine, infrastructure, and equipment is limited. Vietnamese expatriates should continue keeping a close watch on the situation and sharing information in their living and working areas for Lao authorities without spreading fake news to cause social panic. They could contact the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos via hotlines 85620 96106775 or 85620 92546868; call 85620 91112345 to the Vietnamese consulate general in Luang Prabang, 8562098362929 to the Vietnamese consulate general in Pakse, and 85620 98208666 to the Vietnamese consulate general in Savannakhet to update information and receive guidance and emergency support. The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand also advised Vietnamese citizens to stay calm and conduct self-quarantine and measures against COVID-19 right after the host government announced to declare a state of emergency on March 26. In its notice on March 25, the embassy recommended Vietnamese citizens keep a close watch on the situation, actively cooperate with local authorities and strictly abide by local emergency preventive measures. The embassy asked Vietnamese citizens to stop travelling to Thailand-Laos border gates to seek ways to return home because this action violates Thailand’s law on the state of emergency. On the other hand, the bilateral border gates would be closed at any time. As of March 24, the embassy received nearly 500 online registrations of citizens asking support to return home. However, due to the overload in quarantine areas, the embassy will temporarily close the registration link. At present, the embassy is actively coordinating with Thailand’s relevant agencies to facilitate the extension of visas for Vietnamese citizens who cannot leave the country due to COVID-19. By March 25, Thailand recorded 107 more cases tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, raising the tally to 934 natinwide, according to the local health ministry./.