Two More Covid-19 Cases Raise Infection Count to 98

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

In addition, the first Cambodian national reported to have tested positive for the virus remains in the Siem Reap Provincial Hospital after about three weeks in quarantine.

On Thursday, two Indonesian men, aged 41 and 44, tested positive in Cambodia and were also quarantined in the Siem Reap hospital, according to a ministry statement.

The pair had tested positive for the virus in Bangkok but traveled to Cambodia because they could not afford health care in Thailand, ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said in a message.

The men had hired a driver to take them from Poipet on the Thai border to Siem Reap, Vandine said. The driver was tested and is awaiting results. She did not say when the Indonesian men entered Cambodia. 

The Siem Reap Provincial Health Department also identified 340 people who had indirect contact with a group of French tourists, among whom 33 French nationals and two Cambodian tour guides have tested positive for the virus in Preah Sihanouk province, the ministry spokeswoman said. 

Vandine said the provincial health department will monitor this group for 14 days, but they are not currently in quarantine. 

The number of individuals who have recovered rose to 11 on Thursday, with a 57-year-old Cambodian man in Koh Kong testing negative twice, according to Vandine. The man, who was confirmed positive on March 17, had attended a religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur that has been linked to hundreds of confirmed cases across Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s first national to contract Covid-19, a 38-year-old man in Siem Reap province, has been diagnosed with tuberculosis in addition to the respiratory disease, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen and volunteer health workers on Wednesday.

During a speech, in which Hun Sen said he was considering declaring a state of emergency, the premier asked about the man, who has been in hospital quarantine in Siem Reap since March 7.

“The one in Siem Reap seems to stay a bit longer. Did he get tuberculosis?” Hun Sen asked, before confirming Bunheng’s response to the audience.  

The man was in direct contact with a Japanese national who tested positive for the virus in Japan early this month after flying from Siem Reap via Vietnam. 

The novel coronavirus has spread to some 200 countries and territories, infecting more than 532,000 people, with some 122,000 recovered, and has been linked to about 24,000 deaths, according to data from the U.S., E.U., China and World Health Organization (WHO) compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Additional reporting by Ouch Sony

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

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