49 More Covid-19 Cases, Reduce Crowded Workplaces, Hun Sen Says

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A sign requiring Aeon Mall 1 customers to wear a mask and take a temperature check, placed at the entrance of the building in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district on December 4, 2020. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in an audio message late Monday that the country had found 49 more Covid-19 cases, and called for state institutions to work largely from home and private businesses to reduce staff numbers in their workplaces.

“Brothers, sisters and compatriots, today our country’s situation is not normal,” Hun Sen said. The 49 cases were found in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Prey Veng and Kandal, he said.

Hun Sen said state institutions should work from home for seven days, after which he would give further instructions. About 90 percent of civil servants should work from home, he said.

“There is turmoil at this time. There have been infections among police, civil servants and artists,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen also called for private businesses to reduce staff numbers at their workplaces and introduce shifts to reduce crowding at offices and on the streets. He said all unnecessary meetings and gatherings should be suspended.

He asked parents to not let their children leave the house, and adults also should not leave the house unnecessarily, he said.

Those who go outside should wear a mask, he added.

“Because [we] now do not know where the disease is … this is a big challenge and I think this is a crucial measure to protect the health of individuals, each family and our society,” he said.

He also asked the Senate to quickly pass a Covid-19 law, which introduces penalties of up to 20 years in prison, saying he would not be using the State of Emergency Law for the current situation.

He added that Preah Sihanouk must further restrict travel in and out of the province.

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