Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry explains new UK Covid-19 strain

Ministry explains new UK Covid-19 strain

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A migrant worker has her temperature checked in Oddar Meanchey province after returning from Thailand on Monday. Oddar Meanchey Provincial Hall

Ministry explains new UK Covid-19 strain

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine addressed the new mutation of the Covid-19 virus that was found in England, saying that research was underway in multiple countries.

The new variant of Covid-19 has been named SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01, with the extension of the acronym representing ‘Variant Under Investigation in December 2020’. It was first detected in test samples taken in England’s southeast county of Kent in September and is now spreading rapidly.

BBC reports on December 20 said that cases of the new variant had been identified in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Australia. Initial studies in England suggest that the new variant might be more contagious than others.

Vandine said: “Investigations in England and the EU are underway to determine the variant’s communicability and severity of infection and whether it will have any impact on the efficacy of vaccines or lead to re-infection of individuals. I would like to be clear that this new variant of the virus does not affect diagnostic processes used in Cambodia.”

She said Cambodia is currently awaiting a determination as to which Covid-19 vaccine would be distributed to member countries by the COVAX Facility as well as prior assessments of that vaccine with conclusive results about its efficacy and safety.

In the meantime, she reminded Cambodians to carry out precautionary measures consistently and remember the “Do’s and Don’ts” advised by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The public is urged to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distancing while avoiding unventilated indoor spaces, crowds, and physical contact with others including shaking hands, hugging, standing closely together or touching. People must adapt to the new normal, Vandine said.

She also advised that proper use of disinfectant sprays and sanitisers made with alcohol was very useful and does not adversely affect human health. It was important, however, to prevent such products from entering people’s bodies. Use on clothes is also acceptable.

“Spraying disinfectant over clothes or shoes to kill the virus is good. It is not a problem at all. Please avoid directly spraying disinfectant on bodies. It could affect the eyes or mouth or be inhaled unintentionally,” Vandine explained.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian embassy in Thailand issued guidance for migrant workers after the Thai Ministry of Labour issued new detailed directives and called for cooperation from employers nationwide in implementing Covid-19 protection and control measures.

“They [employers] must measure temperatures of foreign workers in case their temperatures are too high or there are other unusual symptoms. They are to prepare alcohol for washing hands in the workplace at exits, entrances and bathrooms. All foreign workers must wear masks and gloves and maintain physical separation while at work. [Employers] are responsible for explaining to and instructing foreign workers about Covid-19 protective methods,” said the Thai labour ministry.

The embassy called for Cambodians in Thailand to continue cooperating with instructions from the local government, including abiding by any restrictions of movement, and asked them to remain vigilant in protecting their own health in order to stop further spread of the disease.

The Cambodian health ministry announced on December 23 that no new cases of Covid-19 had been detected in the country while two more patients had recovered, leaving only 14 still undergoing treatment.

Both recovering individuals are Cambodian nationals – a 21 year-old female bank employee from Chbar Ampov district’s Veal Sbov commune in Phnom Penh who was infected in conjunction with the November 28 community transmission event and a 26 year-old male from Kampot province’s Dang Tong district who had recently travelled from Japan via South Korea.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested