Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng reminded Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms who are treating themselves at home to dispose of their waste properly.
The reminder came after the municipality observed that a small number of patients had not been following the authority’s instructions.
“[Covid-19] patients with mild symptoms who are recovering at home must bag their waste properly and keep it separate from others,” Sreng said.
He said the waste and the bags containing it have to be disinfected thoroughly and set aside for 72 hours before leaving them outside for collection by waste management firms.
He reiterated that waste left by Covid-19 patients shall be placed in yellow bags or clearly labelled so that it will be easy to identify and only put out for collection in a larger bag every five days.
“If the patients fail to follow these instructions and consequently transmit the coronavirus to others, they shall be held liable under Article 9 of the Law on Measures to Control Covid-19 and Other Serious, Dangerous and Contagious Diseases,” he said.
Article 9 of the law stipulated that intentionally transmitting the virus to others by any means shall be punishable by a prison term of five to 10 years.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said on November 1 that more Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms had recovered at home than in hospitals and the overall number of those being admitted to hospitals has decreased.
He added that the number of new patients admitted to treatment centres has decreased from 59 per cent to just 52 per cent, and the number of new patients sent to hospitals decreased from 27 per cent to 25 per cent of the total number of new patients across the country.
“That means the rate of patients treated at home has increased while the number of hospital admissions decreased,” he said.
Hun Sen also recommended strengthening the treatment capacities of hospitals to deal with Covid-19 to reduce fatalities. The capacities of provincial and regional hospitals should be strengthened, he said.
“We have worked with the Ministry of Health and set up the Covid-19 sub-commission to help build and organise treatment facilities until there are enough oxygen facilities in the provinces,” he said. “But don’t assume that because we have more or better medical facilities, you can let your guard down and neglect to practise the three dos and three don’ts.”
Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine, who also serves as head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said on November 3 that further capacity building, particularly in the emergency departments, was most urgent, especially with the country reopening.
“What [Hun Sen] said is really important and necessary at this stage. So, we have to further strengthen the capacities of our medical personnel to save people once they get infected with Covid-19,” she said.