Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand rush to cross the border before it closes. Supplied

Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far.

The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides in Sihanoukville, a day after two French tourists of the same group contracted the virus.

The tourists, including 12 men and 17 women aged between 48 and 69, were among a total of 36 tourists visiting the coastal town. They arrived on March 18 and were due to leave on Saturday.

All were staying at the Independence Hotel, which has since been quarantined, said provincial police chief Chuon Narin. “We have put the seven-storey hotel under strict quarantine,” he said in his report to higher authorities.

Meanwhile, Thai authorities are shutting all border checkpoints with Cambodia and hasresticted foreigners from entering the country by air as of Friday to halt the spread of Covid-19. Thailand reported 188 new infections on Sunday, raising its total to 599 cases.

In view of Thailand’s restrictions, a large number of Cambodian workers from there rushed to enter the Kingdom just before the borders were closed.

Ministry of Health spokesman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment. It remains unclear if those migrant workers are at risk of spreading the virus.

Vandine issued a request to officials at all border checkpoints to closely monitor the returning workers’ health.

She said all checkpoints must have a quarantine team, and all workers must fill out a health form. She told officials to instruct migrant workers to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“Please do whatever possible to make them understand the issue, and avoid spreading the disease to their families back home. Please pay high attention to this in order to avoid spreading more Covid-19 in Cambodia,” Vandine stressed.

In regards to the border, some checkpoints were closed last week, and the rest will be closed by Monday, said a Cambodian Embassy and Consulate document. While most checkpoints ban the travel of citizens and the transportation of goods, some will still allow goods to cross under strict conditions.

An announcement from the Cambodian consulate office in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province said Thai authorities announced the closure of all Thai-Cambodia checkpoints in its five provinces – Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket, Buriram, Chanthaburi, and Trat.

All foreigners are also banned from entering Thailand by flight as of Friday, according to the announcement.

One of the new restrictions requires all foreigners to have documents proving they are not infected with Covid-19. A certified medical letter dated no later than 72 hours before the plane’s departure is required to receive a boarding pass.

Passengers must also have documented health insurance cover for at least $100,000 in medical expenses as well as any Covid-19-related expenses, according to the announcement.

Secretariat of Civil Aviation spokesman Sin Chan Sereyvutha said: “The conditions set [by Thailand] in restricting flights is like a travel ban. Thailand has technically not banned travel, but it has put conditions that effectively make it a travel ban.

“As for Cambodia, we don’t have any restrictions, except for passengers coming from countries we previously announced.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • State of emergency draft law set for NA

    A draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is set for a debate at the National Assembly (NA) after going through the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.