The Ministry of Health has released Covid-19 directives for foreign and domestic visitors who wish to have an audience with King Sihamoni and the Queen Mother or attend meeting with senior Cambodian government officials.
In a notice released on November 24, health minister Mam Bun Heng explained the health requirements that must be met to engage with the Kingdom’s senior leaders. They include health checks before arrival, when arriving for meetings, during meetings, and post-meeting containment measures for bodyguards, drivers and journalists.
Before arriving in Cambodia, international visitors must first receive the approved documents from the Royal Palace, the General Secretariats of the Senate and National Assembly, as well as the Cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Visitors are required to obtain a certificate indicating that they had tested negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours of departure from their country of origin. They must also explain the Covid-19 situation in their home countries and their means of travel to Cambodia.
Upon arrival in Cambodia, these delegates must have their samples tested for Covid-19 immediately and must avoid crowded places and ceremonies.
Before meeting with the King and other leaders, visitors and relevant people must have their samples tested for Covid-19 again. If their tests proved positive, the meeting or audience must be cancelled. Anyone who accompanies the delegates must be recorded and required to explain their itineraries in Cambodia.
Meeting places must have ventilators and social distancing of 1.5m. When taking the staircase, visitors must wear masks. They must cover their mouth with arms when coughing and certain places must be disinfected. The ministry asked that meetings be limited to 45 minutes and organisers must keep a list of participants so people infected by Covid-19 can be monitored.
The ministry required drivers, bodyguards and reporters to be tested for Covid-19 within 12 hours meeting delegates arriving from airports. They must wear masks, wash their hands and maintain social distancing in accordance with health protocols.
“The precautionary methods are important, scientifically and medically. These methods are effective in reducing the chances of Covid-19 transmission. [We] research in advance the locations of Covid-19 spreading and the means of travellers. We test for Covid-19 fast, do quarantine, practice sanitation and social distancing measures. We determine or choose only safe and proper locations,” the ministry said in a statement.
Hen Phearak, a respiratory health expert, said the ministry’s precautionary measures were aligned with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). He urged all stakeholders to follow the requirements closely.
“It depends on the people involved. We laid out good and standard measures according to the WHO guidance. But those involved must be on the alert because transmission is very easy. We have to remain vigilant,” he said.
“We cannot say that we are successful in containing Covid-19 and have treated it successfully if we neglect to follow the proper measures.”