VIENTIANE, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) — The Lao government will continue to collaborate with other ASEAN countries to monitor global and regional situation concerning Zika virus infection, Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times reported Wednesday.

Lao Minister of Health Bounkong Syhavong told a press conference in Vientiane on Monday that he had discussed the issue during a video conference among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) health ministers on the threat posed by the Zika virus in the region.

Bounkong said that on behalf of the Lao government, he voiced commitment to cooperating closely with other ASEAN member states in Zika prevention, control and response. There are no known cases of the virus in Laos.

He said that regarding risk communication, the ministry has ensured that all 166 hotlines function and key messages concerning Zika are distributed to the public and special groups.

In Laos, 18 cases of the Zika virus were discovered in laboratory screenings from 2013 to 2015, but there have been no more cases ever since.