Authorities in Laos have reported a significant Covid-19 outbreak near the notorious Kings Romans casino, whose Chinese owner is accused by the United States of trafficking people, wildlife and drugs.
Officials said a cluster of cases in Tonpheung district was traced to people who illegally entered the area, ignoring lockdown rules, according to the Vientiane Times, a state-run English-language newspaper.
The paper also reported that a district task force accused locals of illegally bringing foreigners into Laos from neighboring Myanmar and Thailand.
Coronavirus cases have been spiking in landlocked Laos and the rest of Southeast Asia in recent weeks. A surge of cases that emerged in Laos’ capital, Vientiane, was tied to festivities during the traditional religious new year holiday celebrated throughout Southeast Asia, in mid-April.
Joshua Berlinger and Kocha Olarn