Cambodia confirms first local case of Covid-19


Visitors wearing facemask, amid concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) as they visit the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Cambodia's Heath Minister Mam Bunheng announced on Saturday (March 7) that a Cambodian man had infected with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) symptoms, becoming the first local person to contract the virus.- AFP

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia's Heath Minister Mam Bunheng announced on Saturday (March 7) that a Cambodian man had infected with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) symptoms, becoming the first local person to contract the virus.

It was the second confirmed case of Covid19 in Cambodia. On Jan 27, a 60-year-old Chinese man from the central Chinese city of Wuhan was tested positive for the virus, and he was discharged from the hospital on Feb 10 after completely recovering from the disease.

The new case, a 38-year-old patient, living in northwest Siem Reap province, was tested positive for the virus by the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia.

Bunheng said in a press conference in Phnom Penh that the Cambodian patient was among the first four persons who had direct contact with a COVID-19-infected Japanese man.

"Although the four persons have no any symptoms of the virus, their samples were taken to test at the Pasteur Institute on Friday evening and the results, available at 12.50pm on (Saturday) March 7, showed that the 38-year-old man, who had direct contact with the 40-year-old Japanese Covid-19 patient, was positive for Covid-19, while three others (two women and one man) were negative for Covid-19," he said.

According to the minister, so far, the Siem Reap provincial health authorities had found a total of eight persons having direct contact with the Japanese Covid-19 patient and 40 others having indirect contact with him.

Bunheng said that the Cambodian Covid-19 patient is kept in an isolation room at the Siem Reap provincial hospital for treatment, while the seven others who had direct contact with the Japanese patient were also put in quarantine at the hospital for health surveillance for 14 days.

And the 40 individuals (25 women and 15 men) who had indirect contact with the infected Japanese man had been instructed to self-isolate at home and the health authorities are closely monitoring their health.

The minister said the ministry is working closely with the World Health Organization to deal with this case.

According to Bunheng, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen had ordered all schools in the Siem Reap City to be shut down temporarily.

"The schools will be closed down, perhaps, for 14 days," he said.

The Cambodian patient had infected the virus from a Japanese man who travelled to northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province on Feb 28 and was tested positive for the virus by the Japanese health authorities on March 4 when he returned to Japan.

Bunheng said that the Japanese man is a businessman who had travelled to several countries including the Philippines, Thailand for a connecting flight, Cambodia and Vietnam.

He said it was unknown yet whether in which country the Japanese man had infected the virus from. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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