The construction of a medical laboratory in Preah Sihanouk province, a testing facility for COVID-19, is 90 percent complete and is expected to be open for operations soon.
The opening of this new laboratory is expected to reduce the workload at the Pasteur Institute and expedite result delivery for COVID-19 RT-PCR tests.
Preah Sihanouk governor Kuoch Chamroeun said the new laboratory will not only be used for COVID-19 tests but also for diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.
“Once this state-of-the-art modern laboratory is complete with high tech lab equipment we can send the COVID-19 swab samples for analysis and can expect quick results,” he said, adding that for now they take the samples from tourists and locals and send them to the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, which has already performed more than 200,000 COVID-19 RT-PCR tests.
The laboratory building will cover a total area of 458.2 square metres and the construction has been the responsinility of the provincial board of governors. The test machines and laboratory equipment were provided by the Chinese government and the Global Fund.
Chamroeun also called on doctors at all health centres to send their officers for training to better equip themselves in handling COVID-19, especially if there is a community outbreak.
“We need to have the right health professionals to manage and handle COVID-19 cases, including taking the swab samples and treatment as the virus infection is still a concern in the Kingdom. Till today, no country has come up to say they do not have an infection,” he said.
He said they still need to put in place preventive measures to avert a spread in the community.
He added that the provincial administration plans to upgrade and intergrate modern infrastructures in health centres to provide a patient-friend environment in Preah Sihanouk province and also built health centres in densely populated areas for people to have easy access to healthcare facilities.
“We have the budget to improve the health sector in Sihanoukville. The first step is to build fences around health centres for the safety of our doctors, have a patient-friendly environment and gain peoples’ confidence in our healthcare,” he said.
Lim Samean, director of Preah Sihanouk Provincial Health Department, said there are currently 16 health centres in the province and some of them need upgrading.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said that another five COVID-19 positive cases were reported yesterday, of whom four were migrant workers who returned from Thailand and another an imported case from a Cambodian who arrived from the United States.
The four migrant workers who tested positive were 40 and 36-year-old women from Banteay Meanchey province who both arrived on January 6, and a 40-year-old woman from Svay Rieng province who returned to Cambodia on the same day.
All tested positive on the 13th day of being quarantined and have been admitted to the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Referral Hospital.
The fourth migrant worker is a 42-year-old woman from Banteay Meanchey province who arrived in Cambodia on January 19 and is being treated at the Pailin Provincial Referral Hospital.
The imported case involves a Cambodian woman, 43, from Pursat province who had travelled from the United States and arrived in Cambodia on January 7 after transiting via South Korea. She tested positive on the 13th day of her quarantine and has been admitted to the National Center for Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C in Phnom Penh.
There were 108 passengers on the flight, including the infected patient. The remaining 107 havetested negative. Two of the passengers who tested negative after the 14-day quarantine period were US diplomats.