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Two new cases bring total to 268

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng observes COVID-19 checks during a visit at the Phnom Penh International Airport. Fresh News

A Chinese man and a US national tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 268.

A Health Ministry statement yesterday said that the 22-year-old Chinese man tested positive for the virus on Tuesday after arriving from the Philippines on August 9.

He tested positive for COVID-19 twice. The man is now receiving treatment at the Chak Angre Krom Health Centre in the capital.

The statement said a 25-year-old American woman also tested positive for the virus Tuesday, arriving on August 10 from the US via a flight from South Korea.

She is being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh.

The statement said there were 24 other passengers on board the same flight as the woman. They are 14 Cambodians, four Americans, one South Korean, one Vietnamese, one Thai, one Turk and two Britons. All of them tested negative for the virus and have been placed in a 14-day quarantine.

The Americans are being quarantined at the US Embassy and the others at a hotel in Phnom Penh, it added.

So far, the Kingdom has 268 known infections, with 220 recoveries and 48 active cases. The total number of confirmed cases include 163 Cambodians, 40 French, 13 Malaysians, five Britons, 17 Chinese, three Vietnamese, nine Americans, eight Indonesians, three Canadians, one Belgian, one Indian and one Kazakh.

On Tuesday, the government, through the Ministry of Health, issued a temporary suspension of flights coming in from the Philippines effective August 13, until the COVID-19 situation in the country improves. On July 25, the government had also banned flights from Malaysia and Indonesia for the same reason.

Following the suspensions, Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that all Cambodians abroad who wish to return to the country must contact the Cambodian embassies in the respective countries for further guidance.

“Please inform all Cambodians who are currently overseas that the suspension of said flights aims to help reduce the risk of viral transmission within the community,” she said. “While we understand that this will be difficult for them, it will be more difficult if the number of infected passengers entering the country increases as it will put more Cambodians in the country at risk.”

During the planting of 350 trees at the University of Health Sciences on Tuesday, Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said the ministry will continue to make more effort to protect Cambodia from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must work together to protect our country from the spread of COVID-19 into the community, but it must involve the people, especially those who are in quarantine. Those in quarantine should follow the doctor’s advice and the quarantine rules responsibly,” he said.

“The risks [of infection] can occur at any time as each of us moves around, so people need to be aware of preventive measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 from one person to another,” Bun Heng added.

He said the Ministry of Health and all relevant officials are continuing to strengthen enforcement of prevention measures at all airports and the borders.

“With more and more tourists from abroad coming to Cambodia every day, health officials have already organised teams to check everyone’s health without any exception,” he said.

Bun Heng called on people who will be travelling to provinces on public transport to protect themselves from the virus by always using facemasks, maintaining good hygiene, frequently washing their hands with sanitiser and observing social distancing.

He added that people should also avoid crowded places and those who suspect that they have the virus should contact the ministry’s hotline or report the matter to the local authority in their commune.

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