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The Deputy Mayor discusses the removal of police checkpoints throughout the capital of Vientiane.


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The Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Capital has admitted that police checkpoints were recently removed in the city to avoid economic collapse.


Despite a surge in Covid-19 instances, police were told to remove checkpoints set up throughout the city during the lockdown to strike a balance between public health and economic interests.


Mr. Phouvong Vongkhamsao, Deputy Mayor of Vientiane Capital, told Vientiane Mai on Wednesday that when police sought to limit traffic and implement a stay-at-home order during the lockdown from October 19 to 30, they were greeted with considerable public opposition.


Residents flocked to social media to voice their displeasure with the police roadblocks, with many opting to commute through side routes to avoid the traffic jams.


The public even constructed a Google map to display current information on the checkpoint locations, allowing motorists to plan their trip ahead of time.


Meanwhile, the Department of Industry and Commerce ordered supermarkets and other businesses to close in order to alleviate crowding at shops and markets, which had the unintended consequence of producing even more crowding as locals raced to buy household products before the order took effect.


Recognizing the issue, officials soon changed their decision, issuing a new directive allowing supermarkets and minimarts to reopen with severe restrictions on the number of customers and hours of operation.


Hundreds of automobiles took to the roads, causing police to boost checkpoints across the city, according to local news outlets.


Finally, authorities admitted that prohibiting residents from getting to their places of employment or companies would cause considerable economic hardship.


"We soon saw the importance of striking a balance between controlling the Covid-19 spread and avoiding economic collapse," Deputy Mayor Phouvong remarked.


Checkpoints have been removed from key roadways, but some checkpoints are still in place in the outskirts, and red zones are to be blocked as well.


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