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Ministry of Health initialises three-stage protocol for delegations

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, on his visit to officially inaugurate the Office of the Hungarian Embassy in Cambodia. KT/Khem Sovannara

A new three-stage protocol was announced yesterday by the Ministry of Health for any meetings with the King and Queen Mother, as well as meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen, Heng Samrin, president of the National Assembly and Say Chhum, president of the Senate.

Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said the prevention methods are effective in minimising the chance of transmitting the COVID-19 virus from one person to another, especially to officials at any meetings.

“The preliminary research on the spread of COVID-19 shows measures to take regarding the means of transportation, the individual’s health status, regular medical check-ups with rapid detection of COVID-19, quarantine, implementation of hygiene measures, social distancing, along with identifying or selecting the safest and most appropriate location (for a meeting),” he added.

The ministry said there are three stages being implemented.

The first stage is “prior to arrival”. It notes the COVID-19 risk level of the delegate’s geographical location before coming to Cambodia and requires a health certificate testing negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure.

The second stage is “upon arrival”. A delegation is required to be tested for COVID-19 as soon as they arrive and they must avoid crowded gatherings prior to any meetings, it said.

The third stage is “during the audience or meeting”. COVID-19 testing must be conducted before the meeting. There must be a list of each delegate and anyone in attendance. There must be a clear schedule, with the venue having an entrance and exit which is clean and sprayed with disinfectant.

The statement said these measures are necessary to screen if any member of the delegation has flu symptoms and should not be allowed to attend the meetings. The duration of the audience or meeting should not last more than 45 minutes. They must wear face masks and maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres.

Bun Heng noted that the delegates may take photographs with or without a mask if permitted by Royal Permission and Permit, but with the shortest possible time and social distancing. And the ministries or institutions involved in the delegation visit shall keep a list of all delegates and stakeholders for use in case it is needed to follow up on any case involving COVID-19 patients.

The move comes two weeks after Mr Hun Sen and several senior government officials came in contact with the visiting Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto who tested positive for the virus after leaving Cambodia and upon arrival in Thailand on November 3.

Meanwhile, Mr Hun Sen yesterday sent a letter to Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, stating that he had decided to provide two million masks and other medical supplies to the government and people of Myanmar.

He assigned Bun Heng to deliver the masks and medical supplies to the Myanmar government by special fight tomorrow.

In an official letter to Suu Kyi, Mr  Hun Sen stated: “In the spirit of our long-standing friendship and solidarity and in joining hands with Your Excellency’s efforts in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, on behalf of the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I would like to provide a donation of two million masks and other medical facilities, the detail of which is attached, to the government and the people of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.”

Mr Hun Sen added: “In this regard, I have designated Dr Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, to bring the above donation to Nay Pyi Taw [tomorrow] on a special flight. With our collective effort, I strongly believe that we will succeed in the fight against COVID-19, and we will emerge stronger together.”

Mr Hun Sen also joined in congratulations to Suu Kyi on the victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the recent general election in Myanmar.

The Cambodian government on November 16, donated 2.1 million masks and medical equipment to the government and people of Laos in the fight against COVID-19.

In related news, the Ministry of Health said yesterday an Indian man was cleared of COVID-19, bringing the tally of recoveries to 296.

It said that the 33-year-old Indian man living in Preah Sihanouk province’s Sihanoukville flew in via South Korea to Cambodia on November 5.

He tested negative for COVID-19 twice and was discharged from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital yesterday.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman, said that Cambodia has no new imported cases yesterday.

“The Ministry would like to thank the leadership, staff, health workers and doctors across the country, all relevant institutions and authorities, the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, the National Institutes of Public Health and the Laboratory of Siem Reap Provincial Hospital, which have helped to check the health and research the cases of COVID-19 and all those involved in the past,” she said.

As of yesterday, Cambodia has a total of 306 COVID-19 cases, with 10 people receiving treatment in two hospitals in Phnom Penh.

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