Cambodia’s Ministry of Health on Friday issued a warning of an “unidentified pneumonia” that was first reported in China, calling Cambodians to be alert.
In a press release, the ministry said there is no reported case of the disease in Cambodia and added it is “closely monitoring” the situation after receiving information from the World Health Organization.
The disease was first reported on December 31, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the ministry statement said. The ministry said that as of January 5, Wuhan city had reported 59 people infected – including seven with serious conditions.
Or Vandin, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health and its spokesperson, told VOA Khmer that the ministry had deployed thermal image scanner devices for passengers going in and out of Cambodia.
“Even though there’s currently no case of the disease in Cambodia, the ministry has put thermal image scanner devices at three airports: Phnom Penh International Airport, Sihanoukville International Airport, and Siem Reap International Airport,” she said. “Our quarantine team at these international gateways are closely monitoring for any suspicious cases.”
The ministry has also set up quarantine rooms at Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provincial hospitals.
Ky Santy, director of Kantha Bopha children’s hospital in Phnom Penh, told VOA Khmer that they’ve have been informed of the press release. “So far there have been no children with any suspicious case,” he told VOA Khmer.
“There has been no case as described in the press release by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. We closely monitor the situation and saw no such case. We currently only see regular pneumonia cases,” he said.
Ky Santy said the hospital would work closely with the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control to stay abreast of any development.
On January 9, the World Health Organization’s press release stated that it will continue to monitor the pneumonia cases in Wuhan and would work to provide technical support to China “to investigate and respond to this outbreak.”
Cambodia’s Ministry of Health appealed to the public for better hygiene and to avoid cross-contamination with seafood markets and animal farms where deadly viruses often dwell.