Five Inmates at Takeo Provincial Prison Test Positive for COVID-19

Photo from Facebook Page of Police Inspectorate Of Krong Daunkeo.

So far 134 people have been tested in response to the confirmed cases, but authorities still refuse to disclose the actual number of COVID-19 cases in prisons

PHNOM PENH--Five inmates at Takeo Provincial Prison tested positive for COVID-19, according to Ly Saveth, the deputy provincial governor of Takeo who issued a statement on July 5.

Saveth said that 134 people who have had either direct or indirect contact with COVID-19 have now received negative results from their first test.

“According to the prison authorities, the outbreak is suspected to be related to a new inmate, I’m still not sure as we’re still waiting for confirmation from the doctor, but as for new entrants, we have implemented measures to prevent COVID-19 spreading, including testing and 14 days quarantines,” he said.

He added that staff at Takeo Provincial Prison were vaccinated, but the inmates were not. In June 2021, Prisons Department spokesperson Nuth Savna said that 6,760 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been reserved for prisons, but Takeo Provincial Prison was not listed as a priority facility.

On July 2, a 57-year-old male inmate reported he was not feeling well, so authorities took him to Takeo Provincial Referral Hospital for a medical examination where he tested positive for COVID-19.

While the government is still refusing to disclose the number of COVID-19 cases in Cambodia’s notoriously overcrowded prisons, Savna said previously that between 10 and 20 percent of inmates had contracted the virus in Phnom Penh, as well as Preah Sihanouk, Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces.

Takeo Province has recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths among the general population, according to the provincial administration.

Cases of COVID-19 have recently spiked in Cambodia, with the Ministry of Health reporting an additional 896 new cases on July 5. This brings the total number of known cases to 55,187 while 748 people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

According to a joint report from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization in Cambodia, more cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 have been identified, mostly among migrant workers returning from Thailand.

“As of June 28, 2021, a total of 27 imported cases of the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant have been detected amongst returning migrants,” the report read.

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