Cambodia’s government has decided against COVID-19 testing for students returning to their studies at 20 schools in the capital Phnom Penh and other areas of the country after parents protested, claiming the tests are unnecessary.
Speaking to the local media, spokesman for Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Ros Soveacha reportedly said that his ministry was in agreement with the Cambodian Ministry of Health concerning testing for COVID-19 in the first phase of schools reopening, and has decided not to proceed with previously recommended testing.
“If students, parents or staff members have returned from an overseas trip before early June or have not travelled outside of Cambodia, they do not need to undergo a COVID-19 test,” the spokesman said.
Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, is also said to have supported the move.
The first reports of protests by parents were heard a week ago with the possibility of testing said to hurt the noses of children put down as the primary reason for not doing so.
Secondary was a claim that students were required to travel to and from school daily thus (negating) the need for testing as this could itself potentially expose students to carriers along the way.
It is understood schools were requesting fees of US$100 – 110 per student for tests to be carried out in a nation where the average monthly salary is around US$800.