Health Ministry
A motorbike driver waits for customers outside the Health Ministry in Phnom Penh on March 19, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Ministry to Add Covid-19 Testing Labs as Foreign Arrivals Increase

The Health Ministry on Friday said it would establish three new laboratories that can test samples for Covid-19 as international arrivals to Cambodia have risen to up to 900 people per day following a drastic drop in tourist entries amid the global pandemic.

Cambodians wait to return home at an airport in Malaysia while flights to Cambodia were restricted on April 7, 2020. (Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia)

Certify No Covid-19 Before Trip Home, Embassy in Malaysia Tells Citizens

The Cambodian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has told Cambodian citizens in Malaysia, including 143 people who have been trying to return home since last month, to attain documents certifying they are free of Covid-19 if they wish to be allowed back in the country. But some say they cannot afford to pay for the health reports.

A motorbike driver waits for customers outside the Health Ministry in Phnom Penh on March 19, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Ministry Urges Covid-19 Precautions as Restaurants Reopen

The Health Ministry on Monday warned citizens to follow hygienic practices and avoid restaurants that fail to take precautions against the spread of Covid-19 as Cambodia nears a month without identifying a single new coronavirus infection.

A health worker wears protective equipment during a checkup clinic for garment workers at Chumpouvoan High School in Phnom Penh on April 20, 2020. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Covid-19 Testing Drops by Half as No New Cases Reported for 22 Days

About 800 samples were tested for Covid-19 in Cambodia last week — less than half of the number tested the week before — while Health Ministry and WHO representatives on Monday said that the country remains at risk for outbreaks and needs to adjust to a “new normal.”

Representatives from the Health Ministry, World Health Organization and Pasteur Institute seated during a press conference in Phnom Penh on April 20, 2020 (Saut Sok Prathna/VOD)

Ministry Told to Test More After Week of No New Covid-19 Cases

After more than a week of no new Covid-19 cases reported in the country, the World Health Organization’s representative said the Health Ministry had been advised to increase testing and contact tracing while Cambodia was still in an early stage of the global pandemic.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng discusses the spread of Covid-19 during a press conference on April 13, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Health Ministry, WHO Warn of Possible Community Virus Transmission

While most of Cambodia’s Covid-19 infections have been linked to foreign travel, the Health Ministry and World Health Organization have warned that the country could face community transmission and localized outbreaks, especially if authorities are not able to trace the virus’s spread.

Monks and others bless locals in Takeo province in late March 2020 (Ouch Sony/VOD)

In Takeo, No Virus Cases, but Practical, Spiritual Precautions Prevail

In Takeo province — where no one has been confirmed infected with Covid-19 — and other parts of the country, authorities are preparing health institutions and raising public awareness about preventative health measures, while religious leaders share blessings to ward off evil, ghosts and the respiratory disease.

People wearing face masks walk through the gate at the Siem Reap Provincial Hospital on March 26, 2020. (Panha Chorpoan/VOD)

Two More Covid-19 Cases Raise Infection Count to 98

The Health Ministry confirmed two more cases of the Covid-19 respiratory disease late Thursday, and another recovered patient, bringing the nation’s total number of infections since January to 98.