Cambodia confirms new community Covid-19 outbreak, with 32 cases found; front liners and journalists vaccinated

Locals make the most of quiet beaches, laid bare following Covid-19, as seen here in Ochheuteal Beach, flanked by the Sihanoukville skyline. - The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 20 (Xinhua): Cambodia on Saturday confirmed a new community Covid-19 outbreak in capital Phnom Penh, with 32 cases detected, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced.

"Just more than 10 hours, we had found up to 32 cases in a large-scale community transmission," Hun Sen said in a special speech live broadcast on the national television of Cambodia (TVK).

"This is the largest-ever local transmission in our country, and is a very bad situation for us," he said.

The outbreak was confirmed after a person applied for a "Covid-19-free" health certificate with the Ministry of Health before going abroad and was tested positive for the virus.

A night club, some apartments as well as residential areas have been temporarily locked down and the samples of people in these places will be taken for lab tests, Hun Sen said, adding that the people in those areas must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their houses.

Meanwhile, he called on all people to wear a face mask when they are outside, to wash hands frequently and to maintain a social distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other.

"I will not order the closure of any gatherings such as weddings or schools if people comply with these measures," he said.

According to the prime minister, it was the third community Covid-19 outbreak in the South-East Asian nation.

The latest cases brought the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country to 516 with zero deaths and 470 recoveries.

The South-East Asian country launched an anti-Covid-19 inoculation drive on Feb. 10 after receiving the first batch of Sinopharm vaccine from China.

The priority groups to get the jabs include frontline healthcare personnel, government members and officials, Senate and Parliament members and officials, municipal and provincial governors, armed forces, police and journalists, among others.

According to an official report, as of Thursday, a total of 16,612 people including 2,169 women had been inoculated with the vaccine.

Cambodia has done well to contain the spread of COVID-19. The kingdom has so far registered a total of 483 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with zero deaths and 470 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health. - Xinhua

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