Laos Police: Residents Should Fear the Virus More than the Law
By Francis Savankham The Laotian Times Mon, April 13, 2020
VIENTIANE – Police have issued a statement via their official television channel on the question of whether or not Lao New Year parties of under ten persons are allowed under lockdown regulations.
A Prime Ministerial Order has strictly forbidden gatherings of over ten people, except in the case of funerals. However, this has not stopped a number of people from engaging in recreational and leisure activities.
Locals typically gathering together during Lao New Year, with eating and drinking typically an important part of celebrations.
A recent increase in officially recognized COVID-19 infections in Laos over the past few days appears to suggest that such social gatherings are a primary cause of the continued spread of the virus.
The video above (which has gone viral in Laos) shows police officers putting an end to a small social gathering of young adults in Vietnam.
Amid social distancing rules being implemented by authorities, social media is still abuzz with questions of whether or not it is permissible to engage in these types of activities with groups of under ten people.
The Lao Public Security TV Facebook Page gave a wise response when asked this particular question. Here is a translation:
“Many people have asked if it’s unlawful to have gatherings at home or engage in water play with groups of under ten people. If it is deemed that the gathering or water play poses a high risk of spreading COVID-19, then the authorities will proceed to act strictly in accordance with the law.”
NOTE: People should be more afraid of the consequences of the COVID-19 disease than the law, for the sake of everyone in society.”