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Seven new virus cases: Four Blue Helmet returnees from Mali among infected

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian Blue Helmets head home on board a plane from Mali on July 10. Facebook

The Health Ministry yesterday reported seven new cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally number in  the Kingdom to 233.


In a statement, the ministry said four patients were Cambodian UN  peacekeepers who returned from Mali and arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport on July 10. The four men aged 49, 47, 43 and 31, are from Preah Vihear, Kandal, Pursat and Kampot provinces.

The other three patients were also Cambodians aged 25, 27 and 36 and are from Tboung Khmum province. They flew in from Indonesia, arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport on July 23, it said.

All seven patients are receiving medical treatment at Chak Angre Krom Health Centre in the capital.

The ministry also reported that 76 other Blue Helmets, who tested negative of the virus, have been quarantined in Kampong Speu Provincial Referral Hospital.

The other 59 passengers from the Indonesian flight, who tested negative of the virus, are undergoing quarantine at the Royal Air Force quarantine centre.

The ministry also announced that seven people  had recovered from the virus, including six Cambodian men aged between 24 and 30 from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Tboung Khmum provinces, who tested positive upon returning from Russia and Egypt on July 19.

The other recovery was a 29-year-old female UN peacekeeper, who returned to Cambodia together with the other peacekeepers from Mali on July 10 after which she and three others tested positive for the virus.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said yesterday the situation regarding COVID-19 in Cambodia is still serious and citizens must be vigilant.

The Ministry of Health said it is continuing to monitor the new arrivals and particularly the peacekeepers who have returned from Mali.

Regarding the new peacekeeper returnee cases, Vandine said: “The virus could have been transmitted during their quarantine due to insufficient compliance,” she said.

A Cambodan UN peacekeeper is tested for COVID-19. Facebook

“As I have often said, we must not overlook the possibility of an outbreak, which can occur in any situation, anywhere and at any time. We still do not know the exact nature of this virus,” she said.

“Sometimes the husband is infected and the wife is not infected. Sometimes it takes a long time to be transmitted and other times it has proven to be extremely contagious. We must be cautious,” Vandine said. “The ministry requires everyone to be vigilant at all times, in all circumstances and wherever we go. Please continue to apply self-protection measures for everyone.”

“All travelers must practise three measures. First, clean and wash your hands often. Second, always wear a mask when going out and meeting people and third, keep a personal safety distance of 1.5 metres. Transmission occurs when people are mobile or travelling,” she added.

So far, the Kingdom has 233 known infections, with 154 recoveries and 79 active cases. The total number of confirmed cases include 154 Cambodians, 40 French, 13 Malaysians, five Britons, three Chinese, three Vietnamese, four Americans, seven Indonesians, two Canadians, one Belgian and one Indian.



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