Cambodia confirms six COVID-19 cases in community, forcing closure of shopping mall

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-29 13:16:39|Editor: huaxia

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has reported six cases of COVID-19 in the community for the first time, forcing the temporary closure of Aeon Mall 1 in the capital's Chamkarmon district, Ministry of Health's spokeswoman Or Vandine said in a statement on Sunday.

A 56-year-old Cambodian woman and his husband, 56, as well as four other family members, who reside in capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province, tested positive for the virus on Saturday, Vandine said, adding that they have been sent to isolation wards at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh for treatment.

The woman, whose origin of infection is still unknown, had a cold for three days before going to test for the virus, the spokeswoman said, adding that she unknowingly spread the virus to her husband, who is the director-general of the Interior Ministry's prisons, and other family members.

According to Vandine, the infected woman also did shopping at the Aeon Mall 1 about a week ago.

"The government has decided to close down the Aeon Mall 1 for a few days to trace people who have connections with the woman," she said.

"The Ministry of Health would like to call on all people who have contact with the patients to go into a 14-day self-quarantine at home or at designated quarantine centers."

Vandine said the people involved can go for the COVID-19 testing at the Aeon Mall 1, the Interior Ministry and the Prey Sar Prison in Phnom Penh, while those in Siem Reap province can go to the Siem Reap provincial pedagogy school for their testing on Sunday.

In an audio message sent to the public late on Saturday, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen called on people not to panic, but to pay more attention to prevent themselves from the virus by wearing a face mask, washing hands, keeping social distancing, and avoiding gatherings.

"This case can be considered as the first case of community transmission," he said. "Please do not leave home if it is not necessary."

However, Hun Sen said that he would not order closing schools again.

Also on Sunday, the Ministry of Health confirmed a new imported COVID-19 case, a Cambodian-U.S. woman, who arrived in Cambodia from the United States on Friday via a connecting flight in South Korea.

The 31-year-old woman has been sent to the Chak Angre Health Center in southern Phnom Penh for treatment, while the remaining 56 passengers on the same flight have been placed under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at various quarantine centers in the capital.

The Southeast Asian country has so far recorded a total of 315 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health said, adding that none have died and 301 have recovered. Enditem