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Migrants free to return home after completing quarantine term

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Returning migrants in Battambang on January 9. Battambang Administration

Migrants free to return home after completing quarantine term

More than 600 Cambodian migrant workers were allowed to return to their homes after completing their quarantine in the six Thai-border provinces – Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Koh Kong and Preah Vihear.

Oddar Meanchey deputy provincial governor Dy Rado told The Post on January 11 that 120 migrant workers in his province had left the quarantine centres, but nearly 2,000 others were still undergoing quarantine there currently.

“They are safer at the quarantine centres because their health will be monitored there and the government has also provided more funds, accommodation materials and foodstuffs to them,” he said.

Rado added that some of the migrant workers who are still in quarantine are just waiting for the results of their second Covid-19 test.

He said the delay was because Oddar Meanchey is far away from Phnom Penh and it takes one or two days for the samples to be tested.

He urged all migrant workers who returned from Thailand to cooperate with authorities to enter into a mandatory 14-day quarantine to prevent the outbreak of community transmission.

Pailin provincial governor Ban Sreymom told The Post that as of January 10, there had been 16 migrant workers who had completed their quarantine out of the total 319 who had returned from Thailand through her province. The other 303 workers remained in isolation at five quarantine centres.

“Thirteen migrant workers have tested positive for Covid-19 and required treatment. Of that number, six have recovered so far. Even when they appear to have recovered we continue keeping them in quarantine at home and we monitor their health for another 14 days,” she said.

Sreymom called on all migrant workers working in Thailand and intending to return home to enter Cambodia via legal crossing points so that authorities can check their health properly.

“Those who listen to brokers who say they can lead them across the border at illegal crossing points in order to skip quarantine will probably be cheated and they are putting their lives in danger with the landmines buried there,” she said.

For Battambang province, as of January 9, a total of 251 migrant workers had completed their quarantine.

After the 14-day quarantine, the Battambang town administration gave the workers a letter certifying that they had properly abided by the 14-day quarantine rules and were now cleared for travel.

Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak urged those who have completed the 14-day quarantine to continue to follow the hygiene rules and other instructions from the Ministry of Health.

“If they appear to have any symptoms such as a fever of over 37.5C, coughing, sore throat or a runny nose they must report it quickly and rush to a hospital or a health centre nearby,” he said.

In Koh Kong province, only two migrant workers have completed their quarantine while 90 others remain there for now, according to deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy.

In Preah Vihear province, 29 migrant workers have completed their quarantine and returned home with a clean bill of health to date.

Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said 200 migrant workers had completed their quarantine.

On January 10, the health ministry detected a confirmed Covid-19 case in a Cambodian migrant worker in Battambang province’s Sangke district after the worker had returned from Thailand.

According to the ministry, two out of three Cambodian migrant workers who had tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning from Thailand late last year have recovered after their second test came back negative.

Separately, the 56-year-old wife of general department of prisons director-general Chhem Savuth – who was the first confirmed case of community transmission – has also been discharged from hospital after testing negative twice.

As of January 11, Cambodia had recorded a total of 392 Covid-19 cases with 18 remaining hospitalised.

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