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Gov’t gifts masks as three new Covid cases detected

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Police officers hand out face masks to motorists in Phnom Penh as part of the government’s preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19. Phnom Penh City Hall

Gov’t gifts masks as three new Covid cases detected

The government has provided two million masks to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province to be distributed to residents after the discovery of Covid-19 community transmission.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the masks are in addition to two million masks that were already given out in the capital on November 11.

Ministry of Health officials, meanwhile, have urged people who might have been involved or affected since the community transmission was detected on November 28 to provide information to the ministry in order to pin down the source of the coronavirus quickly. The ministry has so far tested 8,212 people.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said people need to be honest in providing information related to any potential connection to the spread of the virus.

“Your information will help us search for the source of the transmission faster. If it takes a long time the transmission will grow bigger and it will be harder for us to estimate the size of the epidemic,” she said in a recorded message on December 1.

According to a health ministry press release dated December 2, there have been no new local transmission cases since the November 29-30 testing revealed 17 positive test results.

The remaining 1,081 samples were due to be tested on December 2.

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said he had done his part.

“As of December 2, I, my colleagues and those surrounding me who were involved with the November 28 community transmission have tested for Covid-19. We are under self-quarantine for 14 days and practice the measures as instructed by the health ministry,” he said in a Facebook post.

On December 2, the Kampong Cham Provincial Administration also clarified governor Un Chanda’s report to Prime Minister Hun Sen that said six people in the province had tested positive on November 30 and December 1.

It said the report had been misinterpreted, with some social media users spreading misinformation that the six had contracted the virus from the driver for director-general of prisons Chhem Savuth, who along with his wife tested positive for Covid-19 and directly involved in the November 28 community transmission.

The provincial administration said the six people had visited their relatives in Prey Chhor district on November 24 and 25, prior to the health ministry’s November 28 announcement of community transmission.

It said the provincial governor acted immediately to search for those who had direct contact with them. and found eight people. Provincial health officials have since brought the eight people for medical check-ups, took samples for testing and sent them to quarantine at a hotel.

As part of preventive measures, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced the temporary suspension of training sessions at driving schools, car garages and driver’s licence exams for 15 days from December 1 to 15.

The Aeon 1 Mall – which was temporarily closed after it was discovered that Savuth’s wife had been there to eat and shop before testing positive for Covid-19 on November 28 – was reopened by the health ministry on December 2 after screening more than 3,000 people for the virus. All the tests came back negative.

On December 2, the health ministry confirmed three new imported cases. In a press release, it said the three include a 26-year-old Cambodian man who arrived in Cambodia from Japan on November 18 via South Korea. He tested positive on the 13th day of quarantine on his second test.

The second is a 46-yer-old Cambodian man who travelled on the same flight. Both were travelling with 48 other passengers, all of whom tested negative and are being quarantined.

The third case involves a 35-year-old Cambodian woman from Kampot province’s Teuk Chhou district. She travelled from China and arrived in Cambodia on November 18 with 161 passengers on her flight.

As of December 2, Cambodia has recorded a total of 329 Covid-19 cases. Of the number, 304 have been discharged from hospitals and 25 are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and Chak Angre Health Centre in Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen said more than one million masks and other materials were being transported from Phnom Penh at 5am on December 2 to the government of East Timor.

The transport of Cambodian aid was led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary of state Ouch Borith who was accompanied by health representatives.

The aid consists of 1.05 million masks – including one million standard-grade masks and 10,000 N95 masks – 10,000 pairs of protective glasses, 10,000 sets of safety clothing for health officials, 250 thermometers, 10,000 face shields, 10 respirators, 10 TVs, 250 cases of antiseptic powder, 25kg of type-B chlorine, 500 pairs of safety boots and 1,000 bars of hand soap.

The government has also provided more than two million masks and other medical equipment to Laos and more than two million masks to Myanmar.

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