Lao students return to schools as gov't further eases COVID-19 restrictions

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-02 13:25:24|Editor: huaxia
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A parent walks with her kid after school in Vientiane, Laos, June 2, 2020. Most Lao students returned to schools on Tuesday as the Lao government further eased its precautionary COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)

VIENTIANE, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Most Lao students returned to schools on Tuesday as the Lao government further eased its precautionary COVID-19 restrictions.

Preschools, kindergartens and the remaining classes of primary and secondary schools (whose final-year classes resumed earlier on May 18) have reopened on Tuesday.

Final-year classes at technical colleges, pedagogy colleges and universities have also reopened on the same day, while other remaining classes are instructed to reopen on June 15.

Since May 18, the graduating grade students of primary and secondary schools have gone back to their classrooms, to prepare for tests to gain admission into higher education levels, according to an earlier announcement from the Prime Minister's Office on May 15.

School administrators must implement precautionary measures to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19, which was recommended by the Ministry of Education and Sports and the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The measures for reopening schools include school administrators keeping their premises clean by cleaning classrooms and grounds and spraying disinfectant around their facilities to reduce the risk of infections.

Administrative staff, teachers and students must wear face masks at all times at school, and parents must also wear masks while picking up their children.

The Lao government also allows normal transport of goods across international borders from Tuesday. Organizations of all forms of sport competitions with no spectators, night markets and cinemas are also permitted to reopen.

The Prime Minister's Office said the easing of restrictions was temporary and that if further cases of COVID-19 were found, the rules would be reimposed in the province where the infection was detected. If clusters of infections occur in two or more provinces, the lockdown will be re-introduced nationwide.

Restrictions have been further relaxed given that there have been no new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Laos for 50 consecutive days as of Monday. Sixteen of the 19 patients who contracted the virus have been discharged from hospitals.

The Lao Health Ministry announced its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases at its daily press conference on March 24.


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