Health ministry calls on private sector to carry out frequent rapid tests

Health officials use rapid test kits to test residents in Phnom Penh, for COVID-19, August 11, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpan

Cambodia’s Health Ministry has instructed all state institutions, private companies, factories and other organizations to frequently carry out rapid tests for all staff and employees as the country continues to record hundreds of new cases every day. The announcement did not provide a specific definition of what constitutes an organization.

Hun Sen orders nationwide rapid tests, says Cambodia is relying on China

A man uses a rapid COVID-19 test by himself in Phnom Penh, July 1, 2021. CamboJA/ Panha Chhorpoan

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that Cambodia is depending on China for its COVID vaccination strategy, while ordering the nationwide use of rapid testing to contain the pandemic. He encouraged the private sector to also conduct rapid tests on their own staff.

Fee for COVID-19 rapid tests at hospitals add more burden for poor patients and family members

People stand in front of the entrance to the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh, June 10, 2021. CamboJA/ Pring Samrang

Mak Bunthoeun, a retired resident of Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, usually spends $60 on his diabetes treatment at the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital. That figure has gone up, however, with the hospital now charging $15 for a mandatory COVID-19 rapid test every time he enters.