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Cambodian Ministry of Health should not pursue case of American tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia

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Prime Minister Hun Dem and entourage, maskless, in welcoming the Westerdam’s passengers on 14th February. AKP

Political analysis and observers have voiced concern for the ongoing saga of doubts being raised over Malaysia’s handling of the first batch of the passengers from the MS Westerdam last Saturday when one passengers disembarking at Kuala Lumpur international airport was tested positive twice for COVID-19, while her husband was declared as negative.

The 83 year old woman and her 85 year old husband were among 145 who landed in Kuala Lumpur onboard a special chartered Malaysian Airlines flight on 15th February 2020 and was detected by thermal scanners installed at the airport.

“We should instead tighten up our own thermal scanning and detection methods and devices instead of making this into a prolonged spat as each country has its own standards to adhere to and each of their standards are also up to international recognition, just like Pasteur Institute’s capabilities and expertise.

“They did not call into question Pasteur Institute’s capabilities, did they,” the analysts asked.

They added Prime Minister Hun Sen has already declared that there was no tension with Malaysia over the issue and as such, the Cambodian Ministry of Heath should put a rest to this matter and deal with this through proper channels and not through open media statements.

They were responding to Cambodia’s Health Ministry Spokesperson Ly Sovann statement on Thursday that the ministry finds it unusual for the 83-year old American woman be tested positive of Covid-19 in Malaysia.

“If the 83-year old American woman was really positive with Covid-19, then some others among the 2,000 on Westerdam must have been infected. As of today, having passed through medical test, no other passengers and crews were tested positive,” Sovann said.

The 83-year-old of Westerdam cruise was the only one from the ship to test positive among 1,455 passengers.

Sovann continued, “Malaysia’s test on the 83-year-old American was unusual and that requires a retest in accordance to standard of Pasteur Cambodia, World Health Organisation, and Unites States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Noor Hisham Abdullah, Malaysian Health Ministry director general, said in a statement on 14 February that an American woman who flew to Malaysia on Friday after disembarking from the Westerdam ship in Cambodia tested positive with Covid-19. FRESH NEWS/Khmer Times

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