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No infections in Kingdom after pneumonia outbreak in China

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Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng told citizens travelling to China to follow certain simple measures to prevent the spread of the new virus. Heng Chivoan

No infections in Kingdom after pneumonia outbreak in China

The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that Cambodia is yet to report any suspicious cases of infection after reports of a mysterious outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China.

Nevertheless, the public was urged to remain cautious, and medical specialists told to monitor the situation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other health bodies have expressed concern over the detection of the new virus, which has affected nearly 60 people in China.

Seven remain in a serious condition in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province. The virus was first detected in December.

A press release from the Ministry of Health on Friday said the virus had been identified as a novel coronavirus. While specialists were not yet sure of the disease’s origin, laboratory results indicated it was not Sars, Mers or an Adenovirus.

“Investigations into the epidemic showed that some patients worked at a wholesale seafood market in China’s Wuhan.

“The market has more than 600 seafood stalls, with some 1,500 people working there. Wild meat was also for sale at some parts of the market,” a press release said.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine told The Post on Sunday that there had been no suspected cases of infection or worrying patterns detected in Cambodia, while the ministry was monitoring the situation along with the WHO.

“This disease has not been detected here. There is nothing to indicate that it is transmitted from human to human as medical staff attending to patients in China have not been infected.

“We have yet to report any suspected cases and there is nothing to suggest this disease is in Cambodia. [China] has yet to identify the source of the infection and how it is transmitted,” Vandine said.

The Ministry of Health said thermal scanners had been installed at Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap international airports to screen for possible symptoms.

Vandine said rooms had also been prepared to quarantine anyone suspected of being infected.

The ministry has also informed the National Paediatric Hospital and health departments in the capital and across the provinces to be prepared to respond to any suspected case of acute respiratory infection, she said.

Sorn Sarom, the regional services manager at Siem Reap International Airport, told The Post on Sunday that the airport was monitoring for signs of possible infectious disease. But no international arrivals had yet shown any signs of infection, he said.

“We are yet to report any suspicious cases. We have been checking for symptoms for some time, monitoring between 3,000 and 3,500 travellers a day,” Sarom said.

Three patients in Wuhan reported fever-like symptoms on December 31, with X-rays revealing ulcers on both lungs.

The WHO said late last week that specialists were gathering further information on the infection.

Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng on Friday instructed citizens to follow certain simple measures when travelling to China.

“Frequently wash your hands with soap, and adhere to high levels of hygiene, cleanliness and food safety. Avoid going to markets or farms in areas where the virus has been reported. Make sure all food is well cooked before eating it,” Bun Heng said.

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