People entering Laos advised to wear 'out-smart' bracelet for Covid-19 contact tracing

Travellers wait at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, in China, on Jan 28, 2021.
Travellers wait at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, in China, on Jan 28, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENTIANE (XINHUA) - The Lao authorities are advising foreign airlines to provide passengers flying to Laos with "out-smart" bracelets that monitor their temperature, as part of continuing efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Monday (March 15) instructed the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport to notify foreign airlines of this requirement.

According to local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday, foreign airlines are required to inform passengers before they board a flight that they may be refused permission to enter Laos if they do not wear an "out-smart" bracelet.

The committee is also requiring all foreign citizens entering Laos to buy Covid-19 insurance through the Lao Ministry of Health. Covid-19 insurance is now mandatory, in addition to other travel documents and requests for permission to enter the country, which must be submitted to the ministry.

The "out-smart" bracelet measures body temperature and records the wearer's whereabouts after arrival in Laos. It aims to spot irregularities and invoke a timely response in the event of an outbreak of the virus. The bracelets are equipped with a sensor that can monitor the wearer's body temperature and send out an alert if an abnormal temperature is detected.

Lao health officials can receive the information on their smartphones after connecting via Bluetooth on a mobile app. The data can be shared with the wearer's friends and municipal and district authorities.

Anyone who arrives in Laos and shows flu-like or Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to a hospital for observation and asked to provide samples for lab tests. People arriving in Laos without any symptoms are required to self-monitor and take their temperature every day for 14 days.

The local authorities continue to face challenges in monitoring people at border crossings, said the report. 

With regard to social gatherings, the number of participants must be limited and everyone must comply with virus prevention measures such as social distancing, hand-washing, and wearing a face mask.