Hun Sen in quarantine, 20 Covid deaths in Cambodia

Hun Sen in quarantine, 20 Covid deaths in Cambodia

First Delta variant cases detected in arrivals by land from Thailand

A Cambodian soldier vaccinates a man inside a
A Cambodian soldier vaccinates a man inside a "red zone" with strict lockdown measures, amid the latest outbreak of the coronavirus, in Phnom Penh on May 1. (Reuters photo)

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen went into 14-day quarantine on Saturday, as the country reported a one-day record of 20 deaths from Covid-19.

Authorities also said they had detected the first cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus in people arriving by land from Thailand, and urged people to be extra-vigilant.

Hun Sen said he had cancelled talks scheduled next week with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab after coming into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.

He wrote in a Facebook post that he had indirect contact with a Covid patient and doctors required he be tested and undergo quarantine for 14 days until July 3.

“I apologise that I have to cancel all scheduled meetings. … I beg for understanding from the UK Foreign Secretary,” he wrote, adding that the pair had been scheduled to meet on Wednesday morning in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia until recently had recorded one of the world’s lowest Covid-19 caseloads — only a few dozen infections up to February of this year. But the outbreak first detected in late February has caused infections to climb to 42,052 cases with 414 deaths.

“Please continue to be vigilant by practising hygiene, social distancing and not leaving your homes unnecessarily. Our country and the world continue to be plagued by the Covid 19 pandemic,” the Communicable Disease Control Department said in a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday.

The Ministry of Health also reported seven cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus among travellers by land from Thailand.

“Every one must continue to be vigilant,” Or Vandine, secretary of state and health ministry spokeswoman, said in a tweet.

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