Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Over 20 Covid positive on Day 1 of school opening

Over 20 Covid positive on Day 1 of school opening

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A student cleans her hands with sanitiser at her school in the capital on Wednesday. MOEYS

Over 20 Covid positive on Day 1 of school opening

A total of 23 students tested positive for Covid-19 on the first day that schools reopened in Phnom Penh on September 15, prompting 14 classrooms to temporarily shut down again.

Phnom Penh education department director Hem Sinareth said some of the 23 students tested positive prior to their arrival at their schools.

He said the students who tested positive had contracted the virus somewhere outside of school since this was the first day of reopening. Students in the same class with the positive students have been placed in quarantine and will continue learning online.

“We’ve already given them rapid tests and told them to stay in quarantine at their homes. Their classes are temporarily suspended for 14 days,” he said.

According to Sinareth, 142 out of 227 schools – 96 of them private – have reopened in the capital since September 15.

Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron issued a directive on September 17 suspending 14 classrooms for two weeks: One at Hun Sen Ponhea Ton high school; three at Boeung Prei high school; one at Boeung Thom high school; eight at Wat Phnom high school; and one at Wat Koh high school.

Chuon Naron said the other classes in those schools can continue as normal by following preventive measures thoroughly, but in-person communication among students from different classes is banned.

Sinareth said that despite these positive cases, the school reopening generally went smoothly with all public and private schools following the standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the education ministry.

He said the atmosphere at the schools seemed quiet due to the limited number of students allowed in each class and because students’ movements within their school buildings are also restricted and they are not allowed to visit other classrooms while the sale of food within the school compounds is also prohibited.

“We think the risk of Covid-19 transmission at school is very low as compared to other places. We inspected some schools and found that the schools had complied with health and hygiene measures as expected. It was quiet and uneventful enough that if viewed from the outside you may not even be able to tell there are students learning inside,” Sinareth said.

Municipal governor Khuong Sreng said last week that any school that has 10 per cent or more of its students and teachers testing positive for the disease will be temporarily closed.

Uk Chhayavy, president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher Association, said school reopening has generally proceeded well due to the fact that only 15 students are permitted in each class, along with adherence to health measures.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the