Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New health checks in works for travellers

New health checks in works for travellers

Officials check arriving people for MERS using a thermal scanner at the Phnom Penh International Airport in June.
Officials check arriving people for MERS using a thermal scanner at the Phnom Penh International Airport in June. Vireak Mai

New health checks in works for travellers

The Council of Ministers passed a sub-decree on Friday to prevent the spread of global pandemics by allowing officials at the Kingdom’s points of entry to inspect any travellers suspected of having contracted diseases abroad.

Concern that diseases such as bird flu, Ebola, or the more recent Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) could spread to Cambodia prompted the government to pass the sub-decree, according to a statement from the Council of Ministers.

The sub-decree “takes action implementing health and hygiene standards on all passengers”, the statement read.

“All those suspected of having diseases at checkpoints and borders throughout the country will be checked.”

Last year, an Ebola epidemic in West Africa killed over 10,000 people, while an outbreak of MERS in South Korea from May to July of 2015 killed more than 30, according to the World Health Organization.

In response to the crises, Cambodia set up thermal body scanners at its two international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, along with the land crossings of Bavet and Poipet.

Ly Sovann, chief of the Health Ministry’s Communicable Disease Control Department, said it was difficult to predict how vulnerable Cambodia was to such global diseases, “so we need to prepare”.



  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.

  • PM denies ‘nepotism’ claims

    Prime minister Hun Sen denied on Thursday that nepotism was involved in the recent promotions of the children of senior government officials. He said they had been “trained” and were entirely capable of carrying out their duties while being open to “punishment” like anyone else.