PRIME Minister Hun Sen has ordered provincial authorities throughout the Kingdom to use temporarily closed schools as makeshift hospitals and has told relevant officials to prepare facilities there for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
His order comes as three more Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday, raising Cambodia’s tally to 87.
Hun Sen said: “We will have to use schools to treat the patients. In some provincial towns and places, we will take over schools and turn them into hospitals.
“We will organise and prepare water and electricity at the locations, and we must now focus on setting up these makeshift hospitals.
“Buildings that have a good capacity will be taken over. Police, soldiers and military police will all work together to help us undertake this task.”
Meanwhile, Cham Yeam border checkpoint officials in Koh Kong province said before Thai border closures came into effect on Monday morning, only 100 Cambodians returned to Cambodia.
Due to the limited number, medical officials managed to check all of them passing through the border.
But an official at Daung or Lem International Checkpoint in Battambang province who asked not to be named said on the day of the border closure, around 1,000 migrant workers rushed onto Cambodian soil unchecked by medical staff.
Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) director Ly Sovann said on Monday that officials and medical staff donot have the capacity to quarantine all Cambodians who re-entered the country and that it should be exercised on a voluntary basis.
“Please be advised that you can be positive for Covid-19 without showing any symptoms. Therefore, everyone should voluntarily self-quarantine.
“Take measures to avoid friends and family members in close contact. Use separate medical equipment, towels, scarves and eat separately,” he stressed.
He also requested that village and commune authorities, station police chiefs, and community leaders and volunteers promote self-quarantine in their communities.
“Until now, we have still not seen evidence that there are infections in communities. However we must be vigilant,” he said.
Banteay Meanchey provincial health department director Keo Sopheaktra said on Monday that he and a working group were checking nearly 1,000 migrant workers from Thailand for Covid-19.
“We are preparing to ask permission from Samdech [Hun Sen] to allow them to proceed to their provinces. There are many people here, numbering nearly 1,000. We are conducting health checks on everyone,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Interior website, meetings were called across all provinces to discuss measures to stop Covid-19.
Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun said at a meeting: “If it is not absolutely necessary, all people should stay in their respective homes to keep safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19. We are also advising all officials to work online and on the phone and not come into work.”
Phnom Penh governor Kuong Sreng appealed to district officials on Monday to keep migrant workers in quarantine for the number of days instructed by the Ministry of Health. Officials were also urged to contact local medical officials if they suspected any cases of Covid-19.