Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Coronavirus cases in Cambodia climb to 24

A man walks past the Great Duke Hotel in Phnom Penh, which will be used to treat coronavirus patients, on March 17, 2020. Panha Chhorpoan

All public and private schools, institutes and universities of all levels across the country have been ordered to temporarily close as the number of coronavirus cases climbed to 24 late Monday.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the Pasteur Institute had found 12 new positive results for coronavirus. Eleven of them had attended an Islamic ceremony in Malaysia, it said.

The new coronavirus patients have been quarantined across the country, including two at the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Referral Hospital, two in Phnom Penh at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, two at the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Referral Hospital, and four at the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital.

In a further statement issued today, the ministry said Phnom Penh’s Great Duke Hotel, formerly the InterContinental, will be used for coronavirus treatment.

“In order to avoid further community transmission, the Royal Government has allowed the Ministry of Health to cooperate with the health forces of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior’s National Police in order to cooperate in the fight against the disease,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in the statement.

Coronavirus has swept across more than 150 nations and territories, infecting more than 160,000 people and killing over 6,000, according to the World Health Organization. Severely affected countries are locking down cities, closing shops and requiring workers to work from home to slow the spread.

Earlier, the Education Ministry issued a notice to schools to remain closed until further notice.

“For schools that have not completed assessments, the average academic performance of monthly scores from December 2019 to February 2020 can be used as the average score for the semester,” said Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron in the ministry statement issued on Monday.

If there are any students who have recently traveled, or are experiencing health problems, an emergency hotline is available on 115.

The ministry further encouraged homeschooling for children and that parents avoiding taking them to swimming pools, gyms and playgrounds — areas at high risk of contagion.

Moul Suy Heng, director of Preah Sisowath High School, said on Saturday that high school students would have some e-learning options available to them.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday urged Cambodians to refrain from traveling to Europe, the U.S. and Iran.