Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns



Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
WHO Representative to Cambodia Li Ailan. Hong Menea

Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths.

“We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are struggling to control the virus.

"New cases occur every day and we are racing against the virus. Unless we can stop the outbreak, Cambodia’s health system is at high risk of being overwhelmed, which would have disastrous consequences,” said WHO Representative to Cambodia Li Ailan.

Li commended a series of measures taken by the government including non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as an inter-provincial travel ban and nighttime curfew, to break the chain of transmission.

Li suggested that people stay home during the Khmer New Year holiday to minimise risks of infection.

“We appreciate how important Khmer New Year is for the people of Cambodia, and recognise the strong leadership of the Royal Government of Cambodia in making the difficult decision to restrict travel.

"Full and effective implementation of all combined public health measures are critical to help suppress virus transmission, and we will all have to play our part as well,” she said.

Health officials said in the last two weeks, the coronavirus had spread in restaurants, markets and other places where people could gather for drinks, prompting the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall to impose a two-week ban on dine-in at eateries and sales of alcoholic beverage across the capital. The municipality has also placed parts of the city in lockdown.

“If you meet other people without following the preventive measures, the virus can spread, even if you don’t think you are infected. This New Year, stay where you are and celebrate with your immediate household, she said.

“This will help keep everyone safe. These important sacrifices we make now will help avoid a national disaster later. Happy Khmer new year at home! Stay home, stay safe!”

Li warned that even those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 must still act responsibly to prevent the virus spreading further.

“The vaccines protect you from serious illness and hospitalisation, but you may still become infected and spread the virus. Even if you have been vaccinated, you should also stay home - you will be safest there,” she said.

Li also warned that cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which has spread rapidly in more than 120 countries to date, have been detected in Cambodia.

“This outbreak is different from previous outbreaks in Cambodia. The B.1.1.7 variant spreads more easily between people and can cause serious illness. Many countries with strong health systems have been overwhelmed by this variant," she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American