A Cambodian couple were confirmed Covid-19 positive after returning from Iraq. Their three-year-old child tested negative and is being monitored by health workers.
In a press release on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said the 33-year-old Cambodian man and his wife, 32, had travelled from Iraq, passing through Qatar’s Doha city and South Korea before landing in Cambodia on October 18.
The family is from Stung Sen town’s Achar Leak commune in Kampong Thom province.
“Their test results were positive for Covid-19, according to the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC). Both patients are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital,” the ministry said.
According to the press release, there were 108 passengers on the flight. The other 106 passengers who tested negative are being quarantined for 14 days. Among the 106 passengers, 69 are quarantined in different hotels while the other 37 are at the Royal Cambodian Air Force headquarters.
“We continue to monitor the child’s health to see if the child can be moved from the parents, but the possibility of transmission is high,” ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Tuesday.
She said because the child does not have a caregiver, the child has to be hospitalised with the parents. The ministry will closely monitor the health of the three-year-old.
Vandine said World Health Organisation (WHO) experts predict that around mid-2021, there may be eight to nine vaccines available.
She said WHO, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the ministry’s National Immunisation Programme have agreed to develop a plan called Deployment Plan for review, management and co-distribution to decide who gets access to vaccines.
“We need to think about what kind of vaccine can be used in our country. That is why we need to have a clear plan. At the international level, it is already thought that a vaccine under the umbrella of the Covax Facility has been developed by Gavi. The Covax Facility is a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual Covid-19 vaccines,” Vandine said.
When a vaccine is available, Cambodia may receive enough for around three per cent of the population. Distribution will likely be in stages, she said.
“It is not only for distribution to Cambodia but the world. So, there has to be so-called equal distribution and equal access to a Covid-19 vaccine.”
According to the same press release, Cambodia has recorded a total of 285 cases. Of the number, 280 have been cured.
The five remaining patients are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh. They include one Indonesian man, two Cambodian men, one Cambodian woman and one French woman.