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Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

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Passengers arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport on June 16. Heng Chivoan

Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on citizens to take protective measures after 15 Cambodians arriving home from Saudi Arabia on Friday tested positive for Covid-19.

The latest cases bring the Kingdom’s Covid-19 tally to 156 since the first case was reported in January.

The 15 men, aged 21 to 33, arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight from Malaysia.

Two of them are from Phnom Penh, while the rest are from provinces including three from Kandal, two from Takeo, seven from Tbong Khmom, and one from Kratie.

They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women.

The 15 are being treated at the Chak Angre Health Centre in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, while the remaining passengers are being isolated at the capital’s Champuvorn quarantine centre on the outskirts.

On Saturday, Hun Sen said on Facebook that it remains crucial for citizens to continue taking good care of their health.

“Cambodians should wash their hands frequently with soap or hand sanitisers and wear masks correctly. Crowded places such as markets and malls, restaurants, guesthouses, hotels and casinos, which have been permitted to open, should have hand sanitisers and masks for customers,” he wrote.

On Friday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng also reiterated that Cambodia still faces risks and urged citizens to avoid crowded places and close contact.

“If we act cooperatively we will be able to protect Cambodia from the spread of the disease. Fighting against the spread of Covid-19 is an obligation of each individual so that society does not suffer from this global pandemic,” he said.

Bun Heng said prevention requires that Cambodia conduct strict tests at every border and on all passengers who visit Cambodia.

The minister made the remarks as he inspected a testing laboratory in Siem Reap that is expected to open early next month with the capacity to provide Covid-19 test results in only a few hours. More such laboratories are planned for other provinces as well.

Citizens are told to take precautionary measures even as the government plans to go forward with a five-day holiday from August 17 to August 21 to make up for the cancelled Khmer New Year.

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