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Quarantine waived for health workers and service providers

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A frontline health worker at The Great Dukes Phnom Penh Hotel, which has been turned into a Covid-19 treatment facility. FACEBOOK

Quarantine waived for health workers and service providers

The government will waive quarantine for medical workers and frontline service providers at treatment facilities who maintain strict health measures while on duty and receive negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the Inter-ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19, announced the updates to quarantine protocols in a letter addressed to all sub-committees on October 25.

The updates came after Prime Minister Hun Sen on October 23 granted a request submitted by the Standing Committee of the National Committee to Combat Covid-19 the previous day.

According to the letter, the inter-ministerial committee will now exempt medical workers and frontline service providers from quarantine if they have maintained strict health measures and tested negative through PCR tests. They will now be allowed to take a four-day break before returning to work.

“The Inter-ministerial committee also exempts from quarantine medical workers and service providers who are not in frontline groups but who are sent to provide emergency services such as surgeries for Covid-19 patients at hospitals and treatment facilities in the short term. But this applies only to those who wear PPE [personal protective equipment] properly,” he said.

Bun Heng said medical workers and frontline service providers who have been in direct contact with Covid-19 positive people and have not maintained health measures must self-quarantine for seven days from the date of exposure.

Separately, Bun Heng attended the 72nd Meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Western Pacific region. The annual meeting of health ministers from 37 WHO member countries is held from October 25 to 29.

“We are striving to prevent the spread of the virus and practise the three dos and three don’ts. We are now revising our Covid-19 response strategies to learn how to live with the virus while allowing for the safe reopening of schools and the economy,” he said at the meeting.

The minister also shared his experience of dealing with Covid-19, saying that the success of Cambodia’s response to the pandemic can be attributed to good leadership and decision-making and participation from all levels of government, investment in health security and the health system, and public and individual participation. In the end, success was attributed to solidarity and partnership.

He said the country had largely brought Covid-19 under control with fewer than 500 cases and no deaths.

“Putting a stop to this pandemic is our common goal. Peace, social security, solidarity and cooperation are the necessary factors. Cambodia is working with countries, WHO and all partners for a better future towards a healthier and safer world,” he said.

Bun Heng underscored that Cambodia had fully supported the WHO’s leadership and coordination of the global Covid-19 response. He thanked WHO and all member countries for their cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and moving towards a better future.

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