Prime Minister Hun Sen, who was quarantined for 14 days following a visit by Covid-19-positive Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto on November 3, said he will return to work on November 19 after the fourth and final test for him, his wife and those living with him came out negative.
In a Facebook post, Hun Sen also announced that quarantine for the more than 1,000 people from provinces and Phnom Penh who were in contact with Szijjarto will end according to the Ministry of Health timeline.
The ministry said 1,702 people including five Hungarians in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Pursat, Prey Veng and Kampong Thom provinces will leave their quarantine on November 19.
Quarantine for 11 people in Kampong Chhnang province will end on November 21. Quarantine for 18 people in Kep province, 40 in Preah Sihanouk and one in Kampong Cham will end on November 23. Quarantine for 20 people in Preah Vihear and 10 others in Ratanakkiri will end on November 25.
“[I] would like to remind authorities to advise those in quarantine to continue to do it properly. Otherwise, they will be required to self-quarantine for another 14 days,” Hun Sen said.
He said everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and maintain social distancing, according to the health ministry’s guidelines.
“Bear in mind that Cambodians and people around the globe hate Covid-19, but Covid-19 not only doesn’t reciprocate that hate, it loves us, and its love for us will only leave us dead or with a loss of health,” he said.
Hun Sen also said the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will reopen and vocational schools will return to normal.
“The November 3 event taught us and reminded us to be careful and that we can overcome Covid-19. We can contain it in advance. Prevention is better than treatment,” he said, referring to Szijjarto’s November 3 visit.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said on November 18 that his last test came back negative for Covid-19.
“I am very excited after receiving the news from the health ministry that the fourth test result came out negative,” he said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn also announced he tested negative.
“The result of the fourth Covid-19 test for me and my family proved negative,” he said.
Separately, the health ministry said it detected another Covid-19 case on November 18 – a 49-year-old Cambodian woman who travelled from the US via South Korea on November 16.
The woman is being treated at the Chak Angre Health Centre in the capital.
There were 123 passengers on board the same flight, all of whom tested negative. Among them, 18 are being quarantined at Hun Sen Borey 100 Khnong Secondary School, one at the Japanese embassy, and 104 others at four separate hotels in Phnom Penh.
The latest case brings the Kingdom’s Covid-19 tally to 304 and total active cases to 13 as of November 18.