British Tourist From HCMC Boat Cruise Has COVID-19

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Health has just announced that a 65 year old British woman who arrived in Kampong Cham on a tourist boat from Ho Chi Minh City was tested positive for COVID-19.

UPDATE: A press release stated that, at 4:30 pm on March 10, 2020, results from the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia confirmed that a 65-year-old British woman was positive for the Covid-19 virus.

The woman flew from London, England, to Hanoi, Vietnam on March 2, 2020, in a party of five people (four other Britons later tested negative).

 Afterwards, they left for Ho Chi Minh City and from there to Phnom Penh on March 5, 2020 and arrived in Phnom Penh on March 7, 2020.

Before arriving in Phnom Penh, the person responsible for the cruise was informed that a British woman was on an aircraft on March 2, 2020, with a Vietnamese man who tested positive for Covid-19 virus in Hanoi.

Arriving in Phnom Penh on March 7, 2020, the five British were taken to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for medical examinations and three samples were taken (two of them refused to be tested). They all claimed they were not suffering from any health problems or symptoms at all. As a result, the three tested negative and the boat then proceeded to Kampong Cham.

For clarity, the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital informed the Kompong Cham Provincial Department of Health to wait for the two other samples to be tested, and with the coordination of the ship’s manager when docking at Kampong Cham province, they were examined by the medical team and sent to the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge on 9 March. On March 10, 2020, at 4:30 pm, there was a positive result of Covid-19 in a 65-year-old British woman.

Updates to follow.

According to early reports the boat from Viking River Cruises left Vietnam on March 5 and arrived in Phnom Penh on March 7.

UPDATE: The British tourist is now in Kamong Cham Referral Hospital, and is in ‘good health’ with ‘no significant symptoms’.

All affected individuals (*as yet unspecified) will be quarantined and analyzed for 14 days. Authorities have not found any evidence of infection in the wider community.

It appears the boat is now being kept off shore and all passengers confined.

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