Minister warns of legal action as new variant from India detected

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Defence minister Tea Banh inspects a vaccination site in Phnom Penh. Tea Banh via Facebook

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh has warned of legal actions against Covid-19 positive individuals who try to get vaccinated while carrying the disease and anyone who permits them to get the jabs.

The warning came as a senior Ministry of Health official reported the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant imported from India.

In an audio message on May 11, Tea Banh said some Covid-19 positive persons had tried to get vaccinated even after they have been confirmed positive for the disease.

“We have received reports that some people were aware that they had Covid-19 but still tried to get the vaccine … All the relevant authorities who allow Covid-19 positive persons to get the vaccine will be held accountable before the law,” he said.

“I think this is an intention to spread the virus to other people, which seriously violates the law,” he said without elaborating, saying only that the authorities are investigating the case.

According to the defence ministry report, from May 1 to 10 its vaccination team vaccinated nearly 450,000 people.

In a new development, health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine, who is also head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said on May 11 that the situation in Cambodia will worsen again if no further measures are taken to prevent it.

"Transmission occurs on a large scale, especially in densely populated areas. Infections are more prevalent among those who work in casinos and other places with a closed environment that uses a lot of air conditioning,” she said.

Vandine added that between 30 and 40 per cent of the patients sent to intensive care units with the disease were dying because the virus was very aggressive and the medical staff were not able to rescue them.

According to Vandine, Cambodia has also detected a new variant of the more contagious virus from India circulating. She said the Institute Pasteur du Cambodge found it in patients travelling from abroad.

She called on all Cambodians to be vigilant, even though the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is expected to improve.