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Covid aid for PM’s Myanmar trip

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Health Ministry officials prepare medical equipments donated to Myanmar on January 6 before the shipment along with Prime Minister Hun Sen visit to Myanmar on January 7. TVK

Covid aid for PM’s Myanmar trip

Cambodia has donated medical equipment to Myanmar, which will be delivered when Prime Minister Hun Sen pays a visit to the predominantly Buddhist country on January 7.

Hun Sen will depart for Myanmar on January 7 and return the next day, on a visit he said is aimed at finding a resolution to the ongoing crisis there and bring the nation back into the ASEAN fold.

This marks the third time that the Kingdom has donated medical supplies and equipment to Myanmar amid the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

The donation being shipped to Myanmar consists of three million face masks, 200,000 N95 masks, 100,000 goggles, 30,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits, 30,000 face shields, 3,000 plastic boots, 50 ventilators appropriate for an ICU setting, 50 patient monitors and 50 oxygen concentrators.

In August of last year, Cambodia donated a variety of medical equipment and provided financial aid to Myanmar that included face masks, rapid tests and similar medical machinery or devices.

Back then, Hun Sen – acting as head of the government – also donated $200,000 to Myanmar along with another $100,000 that was provided through the ASEAN community.

In November, 2020, Cambodia also provided around two million face masks and some other medical equipment to the country.

Separately, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng on January 5 informed municipal and provincial authorities to beef up measures to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant in the Kingdom’s communities, emphasising that patients infected with the highly-transmissible strain must not undergo home treatment.

Bun Heng said Omicron has so far only been found on travellers entering Cambodia from abroad at the airport and though the variant was very contagious and spread faster than previous strains, there has been no firm data yet as to the severity of illness that it caused relative to other strains.

“Therefore, in order to prevent the spread of the virus into the community, Omicron-infected patients confirmed by laboratory testing are not allowed to do home-based treatment, no matter their health condition,” said Bun Heng.

He added that all Omicron patients must get treatment at a public hospital or at a Covid-19 treatment facility designated as such by the health ministry or by the capital or provincial committees for combating Covid-19.

Bun Heng’s instructions came following an announcement from Prime Minister Hun Sen on January 5 that Omicron patients must get treatment at hospitals to avoid possible spread into the community, saying it could lead to lockdowns otherwise.

Hun Sen also told authorities in charge of passport control at the borders and airports to increase their vigilance to prevent Omicron-infected travellers or migrant workers from slipping through.

In Oddar Meanchey province, deputy governor Dy Rado told The Post on January 6 that provincial authorities at all levels – especially officials at the international border checkpoints – have continued to follow the principles and recommendations of the government and the health ministry regularly and diligently.

“Overall, we follow the health ministry’s guidelines... even though people across the province have already been vaccinated, we won’t abandon the three dos and three don’ts guidelines, which are the most effective measures for prevention,” he said.

Rado added that the number of Cambodian workers returning from Thailand through O’Smach border checkpoint had decreased to around 150 to 200 per day and only a few of them have tested positive for Covid-19 recently.

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