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After a Six Week Lull, Cambodia Reports Second Coronavirus Case


FILE: People stand at the arrival area at Phnom Penh International Airport, in Phnom Penh, on Jan. 24, 2020. (Khan Sokummono/VOA Khmer)

The Cambodian Ministry of Health on Saturday announced it had detected a second new COVID-19 case this week, bringing the country’s novel coronavirus tally to 124 infections.

This is Cambodia’s second new case this week, after nearly six weeks of no new cases reported in the country. As of last weekend, there were no active cases in the country, after all 122 COVID-19 patients had been cleared of the respiratory disease.

The new case was a 39-year-old Cambodian woman in Phnom Penh, who was found to be positive for the coronavirus Friday night. The Ministry of Health statement said she had returned from New York, United States, on May 8 after transiting through South Korea.

She had been advised to self-quarantine but went to state-run Khmer-Soviet Friendship hospital on May 12 for a test after she had a “cough, nasal congestion and dry throat,” according to the statement, which added that the test result was negative at the time.

The woman was asked to quarantine for an additional 14 days and was tested again on Friday, which is when she tested positive.

“According to the woman, she went to New York, U.S., in February 2020 and she continued staying there for a period of time since there were no flights coming back,” the statement read.

The Ministry of Health statement did not report if any other individuals had been identified through contact tracing and were being observed for the respiratory disease. Health Ministry Secretary of State Or Vandine did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Earlier this week, a 26-year-old Cambodian man from Kampot province tested positive in Phnom Penh after taking a flight from the Philippines, again via South Korea.

The man was traveling with 62 other passengers, more than half of them are Cambodians. Onboard, were also 23 South Koreans, as well as Japanese, Belgian, Taiwanese, and Dutch travelers. All passengers were also quarantined in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia on Wednesday lifted its travel ban on the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Iran. This came nearly two months after the government first imposed the restrictions.

Travelers are required to have a health certificate showing they do not have the novel coronavirus, these certificates should have been issued within 72 hours of arrival in Cambodia, and foreign nationals are required to $50,000 in health insurance coverage.

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