Second Head Trauma-Related Covid-19 Quarantine Death Announced

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Goods trucks pass a quarantine center to cross the Thai border into Cambodia at Poipet. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

A man returning from Thailand and about to be taken into Covid-19 quarantine slipped and hit his head while peeing, had two beers, then died in hospital on Monday, the second quarantine- and head trauma-related death announced by authorities over the past year.

One other person has been confirmed to have died since the outbreak, officially due to a drug overdose in quarantine.

Cambodia has recorded 441 Covid-19 cases and 386 recoveries as of Tuesday, with no official deaths from the disease.

But authorities announced the latest mishap-induced death on Monday, a 38-year-old man from Poipet city who returned to Cambodia on Sunday night around 11 p.m. He was questioned then put his belongings on a military truck before falling on a rock while urinating, according to the Banteay Meanchey provincial administration.

Another migrant worker helped up the man, who proceeded to have two beers “at the same time that police stationed there saw heavy bleeding from the back of his head,” the provincial administration statement says.

His head was wrapped in a krama, and the man was taken to the Malai district hospital, where he received five stitches on a 2 cm wound. Around 5 a.m. the man started vomiting, and doctors found him dead two hours later, the statement says.

“The provincial administration would like to inform the public that the migrant worker who passed away had not reached any quarantine center yet and he did not die of Covid-19,” it says.

Poipet city’s Nimit commune chief Hul Sam Aun said local residents had not allowed the dead man to be cremated at home “because they were afraid of Covid.” Sam Aun clarified that Covid-19 was not involved in the death.

Keo Vanthorn, spokesperson of the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said on Monday that 6,853 people, including 2,855 women, had returned from Thailand since a Covid-19 outbreak in the neighboring country on December 20.

Local authorities said they were screening and testing all returnees.

Thailand has recorded thousands of Covid-19 cases since the outbreak found at a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province, including 171 new cases reported on Tuesday.

On January 2, a man who returned from Thailand on December 28 and tested negative for Covid-19 died in a Tbong Khmum quarantine center. Police said he fell and hit his head on a toilet bowl, but a doctor ruled the death as caused by a heart attack, according to local media.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated another quarantine-related death.

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