A man receives a dose of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Vientiane, Laos, June 17, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
HANOI / MANILA / SINGAPORE / VIENTIANE / NEW DELHI / KUALA LUMPUR – The Lao government is speeding up COVID-19 vaccination for children aged between five to 11 years and people who are still unvaccinated in order to meet the government's target of 80 percent full vaccination coverage by the end of 2022.
According to a report issued on Thursday by the Center of Information and Education for Health under the Lao Ministry of Health, new COVID-19 infections were continuing to be recorded in Laos and worldwide, and it is essential for everyone to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by a booster dose, to strengthen immunity to the virus.
So far, more than 6.2 million people have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. The figure surpassed the target set by the country to vaccinate 80 percent of the population by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, More than 5.5 million people, or 75.7 percent of the eligible population, have got two doses, and more than 2.6 million people have received booster jabs.
Schoolchildren have been strongly advised to continue complying with standard rules for COVID-19 prevention and control.
In addition, members of the public have been advised to continue to strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures, even though cases have dropped dramatically, because new infections are being recorded every day.
Wearing a face mask is still strongly recommended, especially in crowded places and on public transport, according to the report. COVID-19 vaccines are available at health facilities across the country, such as dispensaries, district and provincial hospitals, and central hospitals.
The National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Thursday reported 25 new cases in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 217,754.
ALSO READ: Japan marks record 415 COVID-19 deaths
People wearing face masks cross a street in Kochi, Kerala state, India, July 8, 2022. (R S LYER / AP)
India will make a COVID-19 negative test mandatory for flyers from the Chinese mainland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand from Jan 1, its health minister said on Thursday.
The travelers would have to upload their test reports on an India government website before their departure, minister Mansukh Mandaviya wrote on Twitter.
India reported 268 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, official data showed.
According to the ministry's data released, the active caseload stands at 3,552.
The country also logged two COVID-19 related deaths during the past 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 530,698 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.
Malaysia recorded 480 new COVID-19 infections, as of midnight Wednesday, bringing the total tally to 5,024,902, according to the health ministry.
There were six imported cases, with 474 cases being local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.
Another four deaths were reported from COVID-19, taking the death toll to 36,845.
A man shops for face masks in Divisoria, a local shopping district in Manila on May 17, 2022. (JAM STA ROSA / AFP)
The Philippines reported 257 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 4,062,659.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases plummeted to 13,995, while 26 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, taking the country's death toll to 65,309.
Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 123 new cases.
ALSO READ: India approves nasal vaccine for COVID-19
Singapore reported 1,547 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total tally to 2,199,237.
A total of 91 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with four of them held in intensive care units, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.
No new death from COVID-19 was reported on Wednesday, making the total death toll stay unchanged at 1,711.
A man passes walks past a billboard on the coronavirus in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec 4, 2021. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)
Vietnam recorded 132 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, down 79 from Tuesday, according to its ministry of health.
All the new cases were locally transmitted, said the ministry.
The new infections brought the total tally to 11,524,779. The Southeast Asian country reported no new deaths from the pandemic on Wednesday, with the total fatalities staying at 43,184