Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Fourteen Days: Inside a Quarantine Center in Laos

 By: Francis Savankham, Laotian Times August 21, 2020

COVID-19 quarantine center in Laos

A Facebook user by the name of Phonesamai Huisjes has recently risen to fame on social media for documenting her personal experiences in a state-designated quarantine center.

A Lao national, Phonsamai had been legally living in Thailand for over a decade with her family, often traveling back to Laos via the 4th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge (Bokeo-Chiang Rai) once a week to manage her small business in Bokeo. However, since the March 20th lockdown, she had been stranded in Thailand unable to cross the bridge to her native country, relying on digital methods to operate her business remotely.

Months later, her mother had become very ill, prompting her to coordinate with the Lao Embassy in Bangkok to request entry into the country to see her, potentially for the last time. After 3 weeks of back and forth with the relevant authorities, she was granted permission to enter Laos via the Vientiane-Nongkhai bridge. But her brother had called, just as she had made it halfway to Laos, that her mother her passed away. Upon arriving at the Lao border, she pleaded with the authorities to permit her to attend her mother’s funeral but the latter was adamantly insistent on abiding by the 14-day quarantine rule.

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