Today, the (Covid-19 infection) situation in our country has grown into an unusual stage. So far, up to 49 new Covid-19 cases have been detected in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Prey Veng, and in certain parts of Kandal. This situation poses a major challenge for us to continue the fight against this deadly disease. In such a situation, I would like to issue an appeal and an order at the same time.
The issuance of the order is to call on each institution of the Royal Government and to call on the legislature to suspend (working at) the institutions, but at least we need to have a small number of people to (continue) working (in offices). (We must let) most people work at home for at least for 7 days. After 7 days, I will inform those institutions (again what to do). In this way we will avoid the risks as we do not know who is involved in time of so much confusion at the moment. There are infections in the police, civil servants and even artists. Therefore, the temporary closure of the institution is not a complete lockdown, but to reduce the number of (working) people by at least 90% and only a few people are still working in the institution. For the private sector, I would like to suggest that if possible, reduce staff (coming to work in office) and/or taking turns to avoid overcrowding in the workplace and on the street.
I would like to call on family to let no children go out and make sure they stay homes. For the elderly, adults, if not necessary, do not go out, and if you go out, please wear a mask carefully, because now we do not know who and where the real disease is. It is a big challenge. This is a necessary measure to protect the health of individuals as well as our families and our society. Of course, there is still a law that the Senate has not yet passed. I urge His Excellency the Acting President of the Senate to pass the law already passed at the National Assembly – either to hold online meetings and/or to have a meeting with as few people as possible – because this law is urgently needed. We can not use emergency law for this situation, but we need governing laws related to Covid-19 and other deadly diseases.
Taking this opportunity, I am calling for the suspension of all unnecessary gatherings. I would like to thank those who have postponed the wedding ceremony or gone on with wedding party but in reduced number of people to cut down the risk. The situation now requires more cautions and (we must judge between) what is not and is necessary. Let us suspend things unnecessary and wait for some other times. It is not too late. This is an urgent situation and we must be taking care to prevent the disease from spreading. The Preah Sihanouk province must further restrict the entry and exit of people, but not to obstruct the entry and exit of goods as it is our only economic gateway for imports through the waterway. The movement of goods, both domestic and cross-border, must continue as usual to continue to drive socio-economic development, especially bilateral trade between our country and our neighbors, as well as our country with other countries.
We must continue to make more efforts. My order is only for civilian institutions. For the armed forces, the army, the police and the military police, they continue to operate normally. Doctors are still operating normally. The reduction in the number of people working in these institutions … (working) staff at the Ministry of Health should be reduced to a small number, but doctors can not be reduced. In Phnom Penh, Kandal, Sihanoukville, schools are closed. Therefore, the (reduced) number of students, teachers, and added by the (reduced) number of the civil servants of all institutions, will make our streets clear, not crowded.
For markets and factories, we do not close them because risk has not got there yet, but we ask for increased vigilance with protection in factories by measuring temperature, hand washing with alcohol, and monitoring the well-being of workers on a regular basis. In the market, you have to pay attention to the situation that is happening and also look at the sellers and the people who come to buy. This is another urgency that we need to address. As of this time, we have 49 infected people, how many more will be infected? since the machines at the Pasteur Institute and at the Institute of Public Health are still running. This situation is considered a serious one for us.
I am not talking about locking down Prey Veng province, but I am asking the governor of Prey Veng province to check the situation at the location of a doctor who has been infected and infected 11 other people in Prey Veng, should schools in the area be closed? I leave this authority to the Governor of Prey Veng to check whether the area should be closed. There will certainly be closures in certain parts, but with up to 11 infections today from an N8-infected doctor, there must be consideration taken to contain the area with explosion (of the pandemic) in Prey Veng.
This is my insisting call and ask our people to pay attention. We must always be vigilant, even if the disease, once occurs, may not cause immediate death. However, in case it occurs, we do not know how much it destroys us. To not get sick is the best thing. This is what I wanted to say urgently and I urge all media outlets to continue to circulate/publish my voicemail as soon as possible. Thank you./.