A Lao national died of unknown causes yesterday while visiting his daughter in the Nong Han district, prompting investigations into whether he had COVID-19 and had entered the country illegally.
Khampoun Phimphadee, 61, and his wife, who was not named, arrived at Ban Nong Lat in tambon Nong Mek of Nong Han district about two weeks ago to visit their daughter Dido, 30, who had lived there with her Thai husband and their two children for about 10 years.
Dido said her father and mother travelled from Vientiane and crossed the Mekong river via a natural border crossing. They landed at Phon Phisai district in Nong Khai province and hired a vehicle to take them to Ban Nong Lat.
At Ban Nong Lat, the two stayed in a house owned by her husband’s relatives in the middle of a rice field, Dido said.
A few days ago she noticed her father appeared unwell and had a cough. About 9 am on Tuesday she and her mother returned from making merit at a temple and were told by neighbours that Khampoun had died.
She went to the house where her father stayed and found him dead on a bamboo bed in front of the house. The man had vomited blood, which was seen splattered on the ground.
She called the police and they arrived and cordoned off the area. Health officials from Nong Han Hospital soon arrived in PPE suits to examine the dead man and collected samples for further examination.
Pol Col Sarayut Champhiew, the Nong Han police chief, said he had invited Dido, her mother and the owner of the house in for questioning to establish through which border crossing the couple had entered the country and whether the entry was legal.
The samples collected from the scene were being examined in a hospital lab to find out whether the man died from COVID-19, he said.
Udon Thani governor Nirat Pongsithithavorn said he had been briefed on the matter and would make the test results public when they were available.