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New COVID-19 case after almost two weeks

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
File photo: Ministry of Health officials check the documents of a passenger arriving in the Phnom Penh International Airport. Fresh News

After having no new cases for nearly two consecutive weeks with all patients recovering and discharged from the hospital, the Kingdom yesterday logged the latest case, a 54-year-old British man, raising the country’s total to 275.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Ministry of Health said the patient travelled from the United Kingdom through the Netherlands and transited in South Korea before arriving in Phnom Penh on Friday.

His specimen was diagnosed with COVID-19 by the Pasteur Institute yesterday. He is receiving treatment at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital in the capital.

The 73 other passengers on the same flight with him, including 21 women and three children, tested negative for the virus. They have been placed in a 14-day quarantine.

Of the group, 54 have been placed in the hotels in Phnom Penh, and 17 have been placed in the Royal Air Force quarantine centre and two diplomatic officers have been placed in the German embassy, the statement said.

The passengers included 20 Cambodians (including six women and one girl), seven Germans (one woman), 21 South Koreans (four women and two girls), one British man, four Swiss nationals (one woman), one Portuguese man, 12 Americans (six women), one Serbian man, one Japanese woman, three Chinese (two women), one Australian man and one Austrian man.

Commenting on the latest case, Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine, said this shows people should be more vigilant and strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s safety measures to prevent new infections as the government strengthens measures to prevent transmission from both external and internal cases.

“We must remain vigilant to protect ourselves, as the risk of transmission to Cambodia remains due to the global spread of the virus. The virus is spreading rapidly and the mobility of the world’s population is increasing day by day,” she said.

Vandine said the success in preventing transmission into local communities by the Ministry of Health is due to its 5E strategy.

“E1 (Early Detection): timely detection of positive coronavirus, E2 (Early Contact-tracing): Continue to search for suspected  COVID-19 transmission network in any group or suspected location that can be transmitted from person to person,” she said.

“E3 (Early Isolation): when we find suspected cases of coronavirus, we have to isolate them. E4 (Early Treatment): when we find people with COVID-19, we have to send them to get treatment at a public hospital as soon as possible, and E5 (Early Prevention): take precautionary measures to stop transmission of the virus to any individual.”

Last Friday, the Ministry of Health reported that the last remaining COVID-19 patient, an 18-year-old Indonesian male, had been treated and discharged from hospital.

Meanwhile, authorities have srill not found two Chinese men have escaped on Wednesday from a quarantine centre while awaiting test results for COVID-19, upon their arrival at the Phnom Penh International Airport on September 8.

Authorities identified them as Jiang Jiajie, 23, and Zhu Jun, 32, who arrived in Cambodia at 11am on September 8.

The men were in quarantine at a hotel in Phnom Penh.

Vandine said that the authorities are still looking for the duo, noting that they first tested negative for the virus, but needed further quarantine.

Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng said yesterday the authorities had found some clues in connection with the case.

“We have arrested their accomplices who took the passports and we are working with the suspects to find the whereabouts of the two Chinese,” he said.

Sreng said the authorities would step up security and implement COVID-19 measures more rigorously. He said that the City Hall has signed agreements with 10 hotels, which require them to be responsible internally, and the authorities are guarding the outside to prevent people from fleeing.

Colonel San Sok Seiha, the Phnom Penh municipal police spokesman, told Khmer Times yesterday police had been trying to trace the two men since they fled the quarantine centre.

“The Health Ministry will release more information on the case as it develops,” he said.

Cambodia’s total of 275 COVID-19 cases, including recoveries, comprise 174 Cambodians, 41 French, 17 Chinese, 13 Malaysians, eight Indonesians, seven Americans, six British, three Vietnamese, three Canadians, one Belgian, one Indian, and one Kazakh.

Since the first case was detected in Preach Sihanouk province in late January, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit 13 provinces and the capital.

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