Returning Cambodians Test Positive after Multiple Negative COVID-19 Results

A medical team is testing people for the coronavirus. Photo: Facebook page of the Center of Disease control/Ministry of Health.

The Health Ministry declined to comment on Aug. 13 following the announcement that four Cambodians returning from abroad have tested positive for the virus after testing negative repeatedly.

PHNOM PENH--The Ministry of Health on Thursday (Aug. 13) announced that four new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been identified in Cambodia, bringing the total number up to 272. Some 49 patients are still receiving treatment, while 223 have recovered.

According to the Health Ministry, three Cambodian men tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Russia via Malaysia to Cambodia on July 19, 2020. The three men each tested positive only after a sixth COVID-19 test was conducted, the results of which came back on Aug. 12. They had previously tested negative for the virus five times each.

All three men are currently being treated at Kampong Speu Provincial Referral Hospital.

Another patient is a Cambodian man from Tbong Khmum Province, who returned from Indonesia to Cambodia on July 23, but tested negative four times after returning. On his fifth test, he was found to have contracted the virus on Aug. 12 and is receiving treatment at Preah Norodom Sihanouk Referral Hospital, Tbong Khmum Province.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson Or Vandine declined to answer questions as to why so many tests were carried out and would not comment on the efficacy of the testing kits provided. This comes just a day after the Health Ministry conceded it had withheld information regarding the potential for reinfection so as not to cause confusion.

Meanwhile, three Cambodian men have made a full recovery and have since been discharged from hospital.


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