Twenty-six monks in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkul Borei district have become ill and been suspected of contracting Chikungunya and flu.
Le Chansangvath, director of Banteay Meanchey provincial health department, said the outbreak occurred in Boeng Tros pagoda in Phnom Touch commune’s Boeng Tros village when 13 monks were admitted to Thmar Koul referral hospital today due to fever, headache and dizziness.
He said 13 other monks from the same pagoda were also hospitalised at Mongkul Borei provincial hospital.
“The provincial health department officials went to the hospitals to check and get blood samples for Chikungunya, and tomorrow morning we can test them for COVID-19 in case of persistent fever,” he said.
Chansangvath said it could be influenza or Chikungunya as health officials are monitoring their health.
The Ministry of Health called on all governors across the country to take strict health measures to prevent the transmission of coronavirus, influenza and other viruses during Pchum Ben festival.
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng reminded all governors to continue to observe the implementation of health measures in place.
“The ministry has noticed cases of influenza contraction in pagodas, such as in Takeo, Tboung Khmum and Battambang. The flu has sickened a lot of monks and Buddhists, with temperature of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius, coughing and runny nose,” he said.
“It is necessary to wear face masks when they enter a pagoda or meet other devotees, and to keep social distancing of at least one and a half metres,” he said.
Yesterday, 46 novices reportedly had temperatures of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius, showed flu-like symptoms and had runny noses for six days in Battambang province.
They came from several other provinces to study at a Buddhist school in Wat Svay Dangkum pagoda in Ek Phnom district.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said 46 novices tested negative for COVID-19.