Sixty people in Otres commune’s Village 3 of Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district have contracted the coronavirus after visiting the family of a deceased villager who was confirmed Covid-19 positive.
According to the provincial administration, the villager – a resident of the commune’s Group 5 – passed away on July 18 after struggling with chronic illness for five months.
It noted that the local authorities had visited the deceased’s family, telling them not to hold a funeral until after health workers collected specimens for Covid-19 testing.
It explained that a funeral is permitted only if the diseased is Covid-19 negative, in which case a tradition rite can proceed, but only among family members while gathering is banned.
If Covid-19 is detected, the body would be wrapped for cremation in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines, in which case the location would be cordoned off and those who had been in contact with the deceased would have their specimens collected for testing.
In this latest case, it said medical workers from the Preah Sihanouk provincial health department wrapped up the body after detecting Covid-19 and took it to a designated site for cremation, prohibiting the family from holding a funeral.
“Although no funeral was held, some villagers visited the family to offer their condolences, in contravene of the relevant authorities’ instructions, leading to widespread infections. As of July 22, up to 60 villagers had tested positive,” it said.