Taiwan lifts Lao risk alert

TAIPEI, 7 May 2021: Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) reported that Covid-19 infections remained severe in Laos, and cases rose rapidly in recent weeks across the country.

Laos successfully prevented Covid-19 from spilling over from neighbours Cambodia, China,  Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand for more than a year, ducking repeated infection waves. However, that changed after 22 April, when cumulative cases stood at 60 but quickly climbed to 1,072 by 4 May.

In response, the CECC raised the alert on Laos, moving it from its list of medium-risk countries, effective since 5 May, to the highest level three.

The CECC also reported that local cases in Bhutan continued to increase, which resulted in Bhutan moving to the medium-risk category. Previously it was on the low-risk list.

Latest risk lists

  1. Low-risk countries/regions: New Zealand, Macao, Palau, Brunei, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam.
  2. Medium-risk countries/regions: Hong Kong, Fiji, Bhutan.

Laos is now pegged at Level Three high-risk, which means a ban on all non-essential travel to the country.  Laos locked down its borders last year and limited flights to just a few for repatriation purposes and ending all leisure travel.

Earlier in the week, Taiwan imposed an entry ban on travellers with a history of travel to India, except for ROC nationals and residents.

The CECC announced seven new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Taiwan as of 5 May, with a cumulative total of 211,543 cases. Of the confirmed cases, there have been just 12 deaths,