The Health Ministry yesterday announced the Kingdom’s third COVID-19 case detected in Cambodia.
Minister Mam Bun Heng during a press conference last night said a 65-year-old British woman is now under quarantine at the Kampong Cham Provincial Referral Hospital.
Mr Bun Heng said she was aboard the Viking Cruise Journey from Ho Chi Minh city that docked in Phnom Penh on Saturday.
“The Pasteur Institute confirmed the British woman tested positive for COVID-19,” he said.
Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said the ship left Ho Chi Minh on March 5 before arriving in Phnom Penh two days later.
She said the ship then made its way to Kampong Cham province, along with the patient.
Ms Vandine said the woman was infected by a Vietnamese national who took the same flight as her from London to Hanoi.
Mr Bun Heng said the patient is now under quarantine in the Kampong Cham Provincial Referral Hospital , adding 30 passengers and 34 crew members are being quarantined onboard the ship.
“I would like to tell the public that a 65-year-old British woman tested positive for COVID-19 this afternoon,” he said. “Right now a working group is working to quarantine the patient at the hospital.”
He noted that on Saturday five British women were sent to the Khmer Soviet Friendship hospital for health checks, and two of them refused to be tested but later agreed..
“One of them tested poitive while the other four British women tested negative for COVID-19,” he said. “We will take the specimen of all 64 passengers and crew members for testing at the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia.”
Ms Vandine said a working group is looking to identify people who may have come in contact with ship passengers during their stay in Phnom Penh.
“We found one Cambodian translator who worked with the five women who were sent to the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital,” Ms Vandine said. “We will ask [the translator] to take the test. The virus did not spread to communities because the patient contracted the virus while on the plane.”
“People in Kampong Cham province, please do not be afraid,” she added. “I would like to inform you that there is no infection in Cambodia. The patient contracted the virus while she was sitting next to the Vietnamese patient on a flight from London to Hanoi.”
In January a Chinese national in Sihanoukville tested positive for COVID-19. He was quarantined for 14 days before the patient was allowed to leave.
Last week a Cambodian man in Siem Reap province tested positive for the virus after coming into contact with a Japanese man who had since left the country.
Prime Minister Hun Sen last week ordered health officials to identify everyone who came into contact with the Japanese man during his time in the Kingdom.