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Minister: Enforce quarantine on border to curb Delta variant

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Banteay Meanchey authorities checking migrant workers at a border checkpoint on Sunday. BANTEAY MEANCHEY PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Minister: Enforce quarantine on border to curb Delta variant

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng issued a directive instructing all municipal and provincial governors to strictly enforce quarantine on the borders and implement other administrative measures to prevent the spread of the new Delta variant of Covid-19.

The directive came after at least 10 cases of the Delta variant, first discovered in India, were detected this month in migrant workers returning from Thailand through border checkpoints.

Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial commission for combating Covid-19, said quarantines at designated centres along the borders have to be strictly enforced for all inbound travellers to Cambodia.

Transportation of all travellers and migrant workers to their hometowns for quarantine has been paused, he noted in the directive dated June 25.

The health minister told authorities to strengthen the control of border checkpoints in general – and unofficial corridors in particular – to prevent illegal entry of persons who could import the Delta variant into the community.

“The provincial commission for combating Covid-19 must take action to control the influx of returning migrant workers. Strict quarantine measures must be enforced,” he said.

World Health Organisation representative to Cambodia Li Ailan also warned that more cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 should be expected in Cambodia.

“We must act urgently, act responsibly together. The current Covid-19 tools and measures will help confront new challenges, if implemented effectively,” she tweeted.

She said the dangerous virus continues to circulate throughout the Kingdom and it may eventually reach every corner of the country.

“We are facing both ongoing and new challenges in suppressing transmission. Let’s implement all Covid-19 measures together,” she said.

Li said that as of June 25, at least 85 countries around the world have now detected the Delta variant.

“The virus continues to mutate… We must be very vigilant. We all need to make the right choices to stop the virus from spreading and to prevent the worst case scenario,” she said.

In compliance with the new directive, Hun Manith – head of the sub-commission for border checkpoint control and quarantines – went to inspect the testing procedures for returning migrant workers along the Cambodia-Thailand border in Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang on June 27, a sign of increased efforts to prevent the spread of the disease to the community.

Manith met with Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Um Reatrey to discuss how to strengthen control over the migrant workers returning through the O’Smach checkpoint.

Manith said he appreciated all of the hard work being done by the provincial authorities. He also told the provincial commission combating Covid-19 to enforce the new directive which required undertaking rapid testing for all migrant workers and placing all of them in quarantine centres near the borders.

He told the provincial administrations to make action plans and set up more quarantine centres, saying they should submit proposals to the national commission and sub-commission for the necessary materials to carry out this work.

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