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More security for quarantine centres

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
Two men ran away from quarantine centres in Prey Veng province in early August. Facebook

The Health Ministry issued a letter  on Saturday mandating governors in the capital and provinces to strengthen security and order in all quarantine centres to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A letter, signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, said more police officers should be deployed to ensure those undergoing quarantine for 14 days at centres and hotels, do not venture outside.

He said: “We are [doing this] to prevent those who are under quarantine from escaping before the 14-day period is over.”

Bun Heng added that with better management by the relevant institutions, Cambodia has had no report of the spread of COVID-19 at the community level.

The National Police could not be reached for comment yesterday.

However, Major General Chhoeun Sochet, Kandal Provincial Police Chief, told Khmer Times yesterday that the provincial governor had appointed the deputy provincial governors and all district governors to set up patrols in all 11 districts, to be on duty 24 hours a day outside of each quarantine centre.

“We do not allow unauthorised persons to enter or leave the quarantine centre freely, it is only the health officials who can,” he said. “We have been implementing security measures at all the quarantine centres since the beginning, even when there has been no one in quarantine, with at least 10 officers (five police officers and five military officers) at the ready.”

The Ministry of Health has reported that three people have escaped while undergoing quarantine.

The first case was of a 36-year-old Cambodian-American woman. She arrived in Cambodia on July 15 and tested negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in the Kingdom. She was put in the mandatory 14-day quarantine in a hotel in Phnom Penh. However, she escaped from her room at around midnight on July 18. Later that evening, the authorities found her in a guesthouse in Kampong Cham city and put her back in quarantine at the Mekong Hotel.

The second case was of two men, aged 22 and 33, who had returned from Malaysia on July 23 and fled from a health centre in Prey Veng province on August 3. Later that night, the authorities found them in their house in Prey Veng province and placed them back in quarantine.

The last case is of a Vietnamese woman and her 13-year-old son, who escaped from the quarantine centre in a Preah Sdech referral hospital in Prey Veng province, and fled to Kampong Chhnang province where they were later found. The Kampong Chhnang provincial health department instructed them to complete the 14 days of quarantine, and they promised not to run again.

Yesterday, Cambodia had no new cases for the 16th consecutive day, despite other countries having increasing numbers of cases every day.

The last case of COVID-19 in Cambodia was reported on August 14.

The Ministry of Health has said that 265 patients have recovered, a 97.07 percent recovery rate, with only eight patients currently undergoing treatment for the virus.

Cambodia has been applauded by many international organisations for its ability to keep the virus under control.

The 265 cases consist of 174 Cambodians, 40 French, 17 Chinese, 13 Malaysians, eight Indonesians, seven Americans, five British, three Vietnamese, three Canadians, one Belgian, one Indian, and one Kazakhstani.

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