Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Water Festival & AH1N1

No Signs of A/H1N1 at Water Festival
Written by DAP NEWS -- Tuesday, 03 November 2009 10:00
Although A/H1N1 has killed four Cambodians, there are so few signs of the rumored epidemic during the three days of the Water Festival November 1-3.
The number of racing boats was down on last year, with only 391.
Many of those who attended Water Festival wore masks to prevent A/H1N1after a media campaign publicizing the risks.
Cambodian Vice Chief Coordina- tor for the Water Festival Committee Chea Sokhum told DAP News Cambodia that the numbers of Cambodians decreased compared to last year. But, he added, “it was only the first day, so we could not conclude as many choose to visit the second day and the last days of the ceremony.”
Some sources reported that after Cambodia suffered devastation in northeastern provinces from Typhoon Ketsana, A/H1N1 and the Global Economic Crisis, visitors to the Water Festival would decrease. Chea Sokhum, however, stressed that just as many Cambodians attended for the ceremony as usual. He claimed that Cambodia has “no serious problem” with A/H1N1 “because the Cambodian Health Ministry to prevent for the first time, it is different like the US or Philippines.”
The Health Ministry distributed about 50,000 leaflets detailing the risks from A/H1N1 all provinces and in Phnom Penh citizens ahead of the Water Festival.
Director of Department of Against Epidemic Disease of the Ministry of Health Sok Touch said that all fatalities had also suffered other chronic health problems. The Ministry of Health recommended Cambodians prevent the disease themselves by using handkerchiefs, cleaning their hands and wearing face masks.
As of last weekend, there were 239 recorded cases of A/H1N1 and at least four Cambodians have died. There have been 41,513 recorded cases of A/H1N1 in Southeast Asia, with 75 deaths. Across the Asia Pacific region there have been 122,267 cases and 455 deaths. Europe has recorded over 6,300 cases with 261 recorded deaths, Africa 13,297 cases, 75 deaths, and America 160,129 cases and 3,539 deaths, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

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