VIENTIANE, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- As the number of the COVID-19 case keeps rising in Laos, the government on Friday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown by 15 days.
Deputy Head of the Prime Minister's Office Thipphakone Chanthavongsa told a press conference in the Lao capital Vientiane on Friday that the restrictions are necessary to ensure Lao citizens and foreign residents living in Laos remain safe from COVID-19 and preventing as many deaths as possible.
Local cases of COVID-19 continued to increase and spread across multiple provinces in Laos.
The country reported 573 new cases on Friday, bringing the national tally to 31,188. The new cases included 571 local infections and two imported cases.
A total of 571 community cases were newly recorded, with 161 detected in Khammuan province, 145 in Lao capital Vientiane, 86 in Vientiane province, 45 in Luang Prabang, 42 in Savannakhet, 31 in Bolikhamxay, 25 in Champasak, 21 in Xaysomboun, 10 in Bokeo, four in Saravan, and one in Attapeu province.
Meanwhile, two imported cases were recorded, with one each in Savannakhet and Saravan province.
Thipphakone warned that individuals, legal entities or organizations that violate measures for the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19 will be prosecuted in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, depending on the case.
The COVID-19 restrictive measures will remain in place until Oct. 30.