Schools and kindergartens throughout the Kingdom were ordered shut with immediate effect, Cambodians were told to avoid non-essential travel to Europe, the US and Iran, and national and provincial officials have been banned from joining events there as well.
These are the latest measures the Kingdom has announced to contain Covid-19 infections in the country after a string of new cases were reported over the weekend.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a four-point strategy to prevent the spread of the disease and asked public servants and Cambodians who had recently returned from countries in Europe, the US, and Iran to self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the day they arrived in the Kingdom.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Monday issued similar directives, instructing officials to self-quarantine for 14 days if they had recently returned from missions in countries with outbreaks of Covid-19.
Those officials must regularly report to the ministry about their health condition and postpone any travel inside and outside the country.
“Officials must cancel meetings for a month starting from the date of this directive, unless such meetings are absolutely necessary, in which case they must obtain approval from the minister.
“While meeting with guests, you must maintain a distance of at least 1.5m and keep strict hygiene practises before and after the meeting,” said the directive signed by Minister Hang Chuon Naron.
The ministry also brought forward school vacations. Effective Monday, all schools and kindergartens in the country are officially on “holiday”. Classes will resume upon further notice.
The ministry instructed education departments across the Kingdom to form working teams to monitor and report possible Covid-19 cases among staff and students.
The new measures come after more people tested positive for the virus in Preah Vihear province on Sunday.
Minister of Health Bunheng on Monday issued a statement with instructions on how quarantines should be managed.
The directive said the room must be well-ventilated, and quarantined individuals must keep at least a 2m distance from others, including family members.
“During these 14 days, you must closely watch your health, looking for symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.
“Individuals must wash their hands regularly, especially after touching liquids. Everyone must cover the nose and mouth using the elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissues in a dust bin,” the directive said.
The ministry also told individuals to clean their living rooms and restrooms often. Clothes, bed sheets, pillow covers, and home appliances must also be cleaned often.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Public Works and Transport Sun Chantol told Fresh News that, following an order from Hun Sen, he had intervened to allow four small cruise ships to return to Cambodia after they were rejected by Vietnam due to Covid-19 fears.
Reached on Monday, Phan Soben, a representative of the tour company that works with the ships, told The Post that the boats left Cambodia on March 5, and arrived in Vietnam on March 12 and 13. They carried more than 70 passengers and 80 crew members. Most of the passengers were from Europe.
“Before we left, concerns about the virus were not so serious, and the border was still open. By the time we arrived in Vietnam, the government had changed its policy and did not allow us to dock,” Soben said, adding that the ships entered Cambodia on Monday.