Hundreds From Wuhan Entered Cambodia in Days Before Flight Suspensions

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Coronavirus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Some 300 passengers flew into Cambodia last week from China’s Wuhan, where a new strain of a respiratory virus that has spread to more than a dozen countries was first detected, an official said.

Cambodia received 306 passengers from Wuhan via the Sihanoukville and Siem Reap international airports from January 20 to 23, Civil Aviation Secretariat spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha said on Tuesday.

China suspended flights from Wuhan from January 23 in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Chanserey Vutha told VOD. The virus has symptoms similar to influenza and has resulted in more than 100 deaths in China.

China “decided to close that city and not allow people to go in and out. So we don’t have flights going there as well,” the spokesman said.

Cambodia has confirmed just one case of the virus, with health officials identifying the patient as a 60-year-old Chinese man, Jia Jianhua, who flew from Wuhan to Sihanoukville on the 23rd with three family members. He tested positive for the virus on Monday and remains in hospital quarantine.

Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said the ministry has more than 2,000 people working to identify passengers from China who entered Cambodia in the last two weeks and test them for the virus.

Officials were also monitoring the health of those who came in direct contact with Jia, Sovann said.

“Until now, we have not found any symptoms [of coronavirus] in those people who were on the same flight, people who had touched him when he went to stay in the hotel, guesthouse, or any place he went,” Sovann added.

Some 4,600 cases of the virus have been reported globally, with the vast majority found in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. At least 106 people have died in China, where WHO’s risk assessment remains “very high,” and the virus has spread to 14 other countries.

Fourteen cases have been reported in Thailand; seven in Singapore; six in Japan; five each in Australia and the U.S.; four each in South Korea and Malaysia; three in France; two each in Vietnam and Canada; and one each in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Germany, according to a WHO report from Tuesday.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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