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Cambodia’s last COVID-19 patient recovers, leaving the country with zero active cases

On 16 May, the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh discharged the last COVID-19 patient in Cambodia, officially making the country free of any active cases to date.

The recovered patient was a 36-year-old woman from Banteay Meanchey province who tested positive for the virus on 28 March. On 8 May, she was transferred to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in the capital to receive further treatment.

WHO Cambodia has worked closely with the Ministry of Health to support Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, along with other health facilities in Cambodia, over the last few months to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 cases. This collaboration involved support before the first cases were admitted on infection prevention and control and clinical management, and technical support to the management of cases after admission.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, a total of 122 cases in Cambodia have been reported to WHO. The last case was confirmed on 11 April, more than five weeks ago. All 122 cases have successfully recovered.

Dr. Li Ailan, WHO Representative to Cambodia, commended Cambodia’s response to the virus and urged continued vigilance. “Cambodia has responded well to the first wave of the outbreak. Thank you to all the healthcare workers who have worked so diligently during this crisis.”

She also urged continued vigilance. “Yet the pandemic is still far from over. The risk is persistent; we need to be ready to respond to a possible future outbreak.”

Work is ongoing to strengthen Cambodia’s public health response capacity and systems, including its surveillance systems, to detect and prepare for a potential second wave.

Together, the Royal Government of Cambodia, WHO Cambodia, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute Pasteur in Cambodia, and many other partners are working to minimize the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Cambodia.

WHO Cambodia continues to provide strategic advice, technical assistance and operational support to the Government, especially the Ministry of Health (MOH), in COVID-19 preparedness and response. Cambodia continues to conduct surveillance and testing for COVID-19, particularly at points of entry, and is strengthening its core public health system for both pandemic preparedness and for broader health response.

WHO Cambodia and the MOH have called on the public to continue to take preventative measures such as handwashing and social distancing, in order to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.

“In moving forward, we must create a ‘new normal’ towards a safer and healthier Cambodia,” said Dr. Li.

As Dr. Takeshi Kasai said at the World Economic Forum Media Roundtable on May 14, “We need our offices, restaurants, markets, schools, transportation and places of worship to be safe places to work, learn and connect with one another.”