The Ministry of Health on December 3 confirmed two new Covid-19 cases linked to the November 28 community transmission, bringing local transmission cases to 19.
The new cases came as the ministry expressed concerns that some Covid-19-infected people did not show symptoms until the 13th day of their quarantine.
One of the two latest community transmission cases – a 23-year-old Cambodian man living in Veal Sbov commune in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district – is a staff member of the Bank of China located in the Canadia Tower on Preah Monivong Blvd. He was in direct contact with a 36-year-old woman who tested positive on November 29.
The second case is the man’s younger sister, a 21-year-old Cambodian woman who works at Cathay United Bank on Samdech Pan Avenue.
With Prime Minister Hun Sen’s consent, the health ministry has directed the Bank of China and Cathay United Bank to close for at least 14 days while testing and contact tracing for all employees is conducted. All people affected by the orders are instructed to self-quarantine at home.
In response, Canadia Bank management declared on December 3 that they would temporarily close Canadia Tower as a preventative measure, effective immediately.
The announcement requested all customers needing banking transactions to use Canadia’s mobile banking app or internet banking services, as well as its ATMs and other branches in Phnom Penh, Koh Pich and around the country.
Radio France Internationale also announced on the same day that its broadcasts would be suspended due to the closure of its office located in Canadia Tower.
The health ministry further announced that two additional sites – at the Ministry of Interior and National Olympic Stadium – would be made available as Covid-19 testing locations beginning on December 8.
Since November 28, when the first community transmission case was reported the ministry had administered 8,766 Covid-19 tests.
On December 2, health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that since discovery of the first cases on January 7, the ministry has discovered that the virus can be transmitted asymptomatically – and that 60-70 per cent of people who tested positive were without symptoms, with detection usually occurring within the first week after contracting the illness.
“In recent months, though, we have observed that the coronavirus could stay in a human body without exhibiting identifiable symptoms until the 13th day of their quarantine. This is another development which clearly shows that a full 14-day quarantine period is essential, and we need to implement this measure for everyone exposed,” she said.
As of December 3, Cambodia had recorded 331 Covid-19 cases, with 304 patients having been discharged from hospitals and the remaining 27 still undergoing treatment.