Urging Continued Covid-19 Caution, Hun Sen Advises Drinking Bottled Water

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Prime Minister Hun Sen urged Cambodians to drink bottled water rather than from a glass on Wednesday as a Covid-19 precaution measure. (Hun Sen’s Facebook page)

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the country must “walk one step ahead of Covid” and remain vigilant, including keeping Olympic Stadium as a treatment center — and drinking bottled water rather than from a glass.

Speaking on Wednesday at a sporting medal ceremony, Hun Sen said the situation had improved for now — there were only 126 Covid-19 patients currently receiving hospital treatment, and treatment centers set up in private locations were being returned to their owners.

“We have handed back the centers to Chip Mong, Ly Yong Phat, Pung Khiev Se, Hong Piv,” he said, the latter three prominent and controversial tycoons.

Nevertheless, “we need to be prepared, and we cannot empty the cards in our hand. We need to be prepared for the worst thing that could happen,” he said. “We cannot be careless in case it spreads widely and rapidly, and we cannot have people sleeping on the street without enough centers for treatment. We walk one step ahead of Covid.”

Pfizer doses would be given as boosters to frontline workers and athletes, as Cambodia had seen some imported cases of Omicron.

Omicron outbreaks have racked countries around the world, with the U.S. topping 1 million daily cases earlier this week.

Hun Sen said that those who get Omicron in Cambodia must go to hospital, and added some personal advice.

“For now, from my point of view, we drink bottled water rather than pouring in the glass. For the Covid period, we should bring a bottle of water with ourselves,” he said, holding up a plastic bottle in his left hand.

“And frankly speaking, waiting for this,” he continued, pointing to a glass on his lectern, “sometimes we do not know what is inside it. Bring a bottle by ourselves and spray alcohol.”

“Drinking this is convenient but it is not as convenient as a bottle.”

The Health Ministry has not responded to whether it agrees with a policy to drink bottled water.

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