International Journal of Preventive Medicine

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 106-

Tourist driver and preventive practice against COVID-19: A short report from situation in Siem Reap Cambodia


Pathum Sookaromdee1, Viroj Wiwanitkit2,  
1 Private Academic Practice, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Community Medicine, Dr DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India; Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, China

Correspondence Address:
Pathum Sookaromdee
Private Academic Practice, Bangkok
Thailand




How to cite this article:
Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. Tourist driver and preventive practice against COVID-19: A short report from situation in Siem Reap Cambodia.Int J Prev Med 2020;11:106-106


How to cite this URL:
Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. Tourist driver and preventive practice against COVID-19: A short report from situation in Siem Reap Cambodia. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 25 ];11:106-106
Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2020/11/1/106/290310


Full Text



Dear Editor,

COVID-19 already spread worldwide and it is considered as an important public health problem in world history. The disease usually spread rapidly in tourist town. In Indochina, the disease already spread in all countries. As a tourist hot sport of the world, many tourists became disease spreader in this area. According to the report by Haider et al., Cambodia is a country with high risk for nationwide disease spreading.[1] In Cambodia, the disease already occurred and become a local problem in mid-March 2020. The bolus of imported cases among foreign tourist cause an abrupt increase of incidence in the country. In Siem Reap, the town where one the Wonders of the World is located, there are many infected patients. Since many local people in this town have tourism-related jobs, disease control among those local people working in tourist service job is very important. Of several occupations, the local tourist driver or Tuk-Tuk driver is an occupation that gets directly exposed to tourists.

Here, the authors perform a short direct survey via Facebook chat and face to face video chat with a sample of 50 local English-speaking Tuk-Tuk tourist drivers in Siem Reap. According to the interview, all 50 drivers still work daily and still want to serve foreign tourists. Regarding the protective behavior, all of them have noted that that they did not have enough money to buy good expensive face masks for prevention, therefore, they have to use cheap affordable face marks and that the local vehicle is usually expose to external environment. All drivers also noted that they feared earning no money and they feared getting infected with COVID19.

Indeed, the expose to external environment is common among Tuk-Tuk drivers in Indochina and becomes an important occupational health issue.[2] Not only toxin but also pathogen, such as novel coronavirus, might be an important health insult for the driver.

This short simple interview presents an interesting problem in the developing country where local people might not have good education. Furthermore, due to poverty, there might be little self-care and protective behavior against the outbreak of the disease.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Haider N, Yavlinsky A, Simons D, Osman AY, Ntoumi F, Zumla A, et al. Passengers' destinations from China: Low risk of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) transmission into Africa and South America. Epidemiol Infect 2020;148:e41.
2Jinsart W, Kaewmanee C, Inoue M, Hara K, Hasegawa S, Karita K, et al. Driver exposure to particulate matter in Bangkok. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2012;62:64-71.