32 Chinese in Cambodia test positive for coronavirus

AFP
A group of Chinese nationals who underwent testing to obtain medical certificates for overseas travel recorded positive results on Saturday.
AFP

An outbreak of coronavirus has hit the Chinese expat community in Cambodia, the country’s Premier Hun Sen said on Saturday, a setback in the Southeast Asian nation’s otherwise successful containment efforts.

The kingdom has so far fared well in tackling the virus and life in the capital Phnom Penh has largely returned to normal.

But a group of Chinese nationals who underwent testing to obtain medical certificates for overseas travel recorded positive results on Saturday, sparking fears of a wider outbreak in the community.

“We have discovered a big community infection with 32 cases... this is a bad situation for us,” Hun Sen said in a speech broadcast on state-run TV.

“Those found positive today are all Chinese.”

Hun Sen urged people not to discriminate against Chinese nationals because of the latest outbreak. He asked residents to wear masks and practise social distancing.

The infections were sourced to a nightclub, now closed, and authorities are contact-tracing to track down any other cases, the prime minister said.

Much of Phnom Penh will remain open, including schools.

But a small island connected to the city known as Koh Pich, or “Diamond Island,” is now under partial lockdown, with police blocking all road access on Saturday morning.

The last local infection in Cambodia was in November. So far, the country has detected more than 500 cases but has not recorded any deaths.


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