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Thirty people screened for COVID-19 after contact with latest patient

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Samples collected from the identified contacts have been sent to the capital’s Pasteur Institute for COVID-19 testing. KT/Pann Rachana

Contact tracing efforts from the 30-year-old COVID-19 patient diagnosed on Saturday have led to the identification of 30 people, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

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“We have tracked more than 30 people so far, including foreigners who had direct and indirect contact with the patient,” said Ly Sovann, director of the Communicable Disease Control Department, yesterday, he added officials have already collected samples from the contacts, all of which have been sent to the capital’s Pasteur Institute for testing.

“We can say there is a low risk of infection for those 30 people because they haven’t shown any of the coronavirus symptoms. However, we will still follow the protocols to ensure that a virus spread is prevented,” said Mr Sovann, noting the 30 tracked contacts asked for their 14-day quarantine be served at their homes.

The Health Ministry on Sunday said the new patient is a resident of Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district who returned from France via South Korea on May 24. After his 14-day self-quarantine and the second round of COVID-19 screening, the patient tested positive for the virus, becoming the Kingdom’s 126th patient.

His travel history revealed he also travelled to Britain and Germany before departing from France. He is now being treated at the capital’s Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.

Since May 16, the Health Ministry has collected and tested samples from approximately 4,000 inbound passengers. That same month, three passengers were found infected with the virus, breaking a six-week streak of zero detections in the country.

Among them was a 26-year-old Tboung Khmum man who arrived from Thailand and tested positive for the virus on May 29. The patient yesterday was discharged from the provincial referral hospital in Banteay Meanchey province where he was treated for 10 days, after testing negative for the virus twice in a row, said hospital director Chan Puthinavuth.

“He will continue to self-quarantine for 14 days at his home in Tboung Khmum,” he said.

Mr Puthinavuth called on the public to exercise vigilance and observe social distancing to prevent any viral transmission.

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