Authorities in some provinces are preparing to transfer people from their school-turned quarantine centres to other facilities in order to make way for the reopening of secondary schools for the 2021-2022 academic year expected to officially commence in October.
The plans to relocate these quarantine centres and patients were put in motion after it was determined that the vaccination campaign for children and adolescents ages 12-17 was making good progress after kicking off on August 1.
Prime Minister Hun Sen made statements around that time indicating that secondary schools would finally be reopening this fall after being closed or operating via remote learning for the past year.
Y Chhean – Ministry of National Defence secretary of state and chairman of the Pailin provincial government working group – and provincial governor Ban Sreymom led a working group to inspect the setup of quarantine centres in O’Andong and Stung Kach communes in Sala Krao district on August 21.
Pailin provincial information department director You Po told The Post that provincial authorities had prepared two more quarantine centres that can accommodate thousands of people including those currently quarantining in the province’s secondary schools.
“We’ve prepared to add two more centres. These centres are very large and take up many hectares of land. Currently, an estimated 5,000 people are being kept in quarantine at schools, so we’ve prepared new centres that can accommodate more than that number,” he said.
He said that currently there are four schools being used as quarantine centres: Hun Sen High School in Pailin Tep Nimmith town, Hun Sen High School Sala Krao, Phnom Koy Primary School and Santepheap Secondary School.
Banteay Meanchey provincial Information department director Sek Sokhom said that the provincial authorities would follow the government’s guidelines regarding the vaccination drive for adolescents so that they can reopen their schools starting August 23.
He added that there are 20 schools in the province that have been turned into quarantine centres. But the authorities also have two other large quarantine centres which can accommodate nearly 5,000 people.
In neighbouring Oddar Meanchey province, the provincial department of information director Phal Lim said that the province has a total of 24 quarantine centres and seven treatment centres, and that most of their quarantine centres were located in schools throughout the province.
As school reopening approaches, he said the provincial officials will hold a meeting soon to discuss the transfer of people from those schools to other locations they have set up.
“For now, we have yet to receive any permission to transfer people in quarantine from schools. On August 20, the meeting was held to discuss finding a location for migrant workers to quarantine and the provincial authorities will hold another meeting to discuss this issue,” he said.