The 56-year-old Norwegian national Odd Edvin Engeland has been living in Cambodia for the past 14 years. He tested positive for Covid-19 on 24 March after a woman in his apartment building had contracted the virus. After 15 days and two negative tests, he was moved to a 2nd quarantine facility expecting it would be free but has now been informed that he has to pay a whopping $90 a night for his additional 14 days quarantine.
To local media Khmer Times, Odd Edvin Engeland explains that following his positive results, health authorities took him to the Sakana Hotel on 27 March where he was quarantined in a small room with no information at all about anything. “I was tested on 24 March and 26 March and both the tests showed positive for COVID-19,” he explains. His third test on 30 March was also positive but his tests on 4 April and 7 April came back negative.
“Following the negative test results, I was shifted to Queenco Hotel & Casino and quarantined in a room with bars in front of the window. I was happy to leave expecting I didn’t have to pay anything,” Odd Edvin Engeland said. On 11 April however, he was informed that he had to cover the cost of his stay himself. “This will cost me $1,260 in total (14 days). I have a big apartment I can stay in. I also told them I will leave so they should call the police,” he said.
According to Odd Edvin Engeland, the police arrived but only to threaten him that he will be deported if he does not follow the rules. He now fears that he will need to stay at his 2nd quarantine for a total of 17 days because the results for his scheduled 21 April test could take up to three days to come back. To Khmer times Odd Edvin Engeland explained that his discharge form from the physician says: “Self quarantine 14 days from April 9. Stay at home.”
“Who would ever want to go and get tested if it cost you $1,530? And I don’t know if they will come with other charges. What can I do?” Odd Edvin Engeland said
Khmer Times has contacted two spokespersons in the Ministry of Health Youk Sambath and Ly Sovann but has not received any response.