Quarantine Necessary to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
I would like to inform all-level leaders in the party, the Royal Government, the National Assembly and the Senate, especially the provincial authorities and the armed forces in the Cambodian provinces bordering with Thailand and with Vietnam. So far, we have worked to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from Thailand to the Kingdom of Cambodia by restricting human circulation/flow when the Cambodian workers returned to the country. Now, in the western provinces and in Thailand, the COVID-19 transmission is still severe requiring us to prepare for further quarantines centres. So far, more than 8,000 people are in quarantines and more will come due to the tension of community transmissions in some parts of Thailand. We cannot give up the 14 days quarantine. The western part of our homeland, which borders Thailand, is well prepared and organized with the efforts of all the provincial authorities on the Thai-Cambodian border, supporting by the armed forces of all kinds, as well as the health authority.
Concerns on Eruption and Spread of COVID-19 in Community of Vietnam
Now our biggest concern is the outbreak of community-based infections in Vietnam that started in the north, central and southern parts of the country, where the virus, according to the information we received, is a COVID-19 variant. This is a big concern that I would like to declare to all provinces along the Cambodia-Vietnam border from Kampot up to Ratanakiri to take immediate actions to prevent the transmission (of the virus through) the people movements of both Cambodia and Vietnam. Cambodians who cross into Vietnam must go through quarantines by the Vietnamese authorities, as they have done in the past. The Vietnamese people who cross into Cambodia must also be in quarantines in Cambodia. Cambodian crossed into Vietnam and returned must also be in quarantines.
Close Border Corridor Passages and Prepare Firmly for Quarantines
It is entirely up to the provincial governors to lead the work with the armed forces, which have been blocking access to the border corridors, as well as rigorous internal inspections and arrangements for the strictest possible quarantines. We cannot tolerate. (We must have measures) just as those measures that we (have) taken everywhere (and exercise) quarantines for 14 days without failure/exception.
Therefore, I set out urgent measures for the provincial authorities at the border with all relevant institutions to cooperate, and the Ministry of Health to supply to the provinces along the Cambodia-Vietnam border. The provinces bordering Cambodia and Vietnam must monitor what they needed to submit a request to the Ministry of Health so that (the Ministry) will help supply and prepare the quarantine places. There must be (contacts) between (Cambodian and Vietnamese) provincial authorities to help prevent people crossing from Vietnam into Cambodia or from Cambodia to Vietnam. Together we can prevent the circulation of COVID-19, whether old or new ones.
Continue Facilitating Trading Goods
What is worrying is the possibility of cross-contamination during the upcoming Chinese and Vietnamese New Year, for which the authorities must immediately deploy forces to prevent people from entering and leaving through the corridors. We continue to facilitate trading goods as agreed since June 2020, without obstructing cross-border trade and cross-border shipments. However, we need to restrict the movement of people across the border without going through quarantines. The Cambodian people who travel to Vietnam and return need to go through quarantines. Vietnamese people entering Cambodian territory must also do the same without exception. This is an urgent measure to respond to encirclement of Cambodia from the west, the Cambodian-Thai border, and the east, the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. If we neglected, our country will be shattering as COVID-19 pushes in from Thailand and from Vietnam.
Health and Relevant Authorities Strictly Control Cambodia-Vietnam Border
I strongly command the armed forces, especially the border police, the army, including the border areas of Vietnam, to take immediate action to join with other armed forces, including the police and the military, to monitor strictly on the Cambodia-Vietnam border. The Ministry of Health must urgently check and discuss with the provinces (bordering with Vietnam) to properly prepare quarantines centres and (to work on) supplies as we do in the western areas (at Thai border).
On this order, the provincial authorities bordering with Vietnam must urgently strengthen the situation with the measures I have put in place, as this is a measure to protect the safety of our people and community from the epidemic of infectious diseases (COVID-19) spreading from Thailand as well as from Vietnam. On the Thai border, we have done well, but we do not have strict measures yet on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border.
At the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, we do not have too many worries so far because we do not have workers in Vietnam. What worries us now is that as the Vietnamese New Year approaches, there may be Cambodians crossing to Vietnam and Vietnamese expats living in Cambodia crossing to Vietnam, and returning to Cambodia. This is something we need to be careful about and address this issue immediately. The provincial authorities should take action to deploy emergency forces along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. The Army shall issue orders to the troops on the border such as military regions and the provincial military operations forces and the divisions under the military regions or the army. If there are troops under the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, they shall help preventing human movement (that is taking place) without going through quarantines.
Regular Troop Deployments Prohibited
I strongly urge, however, you not to station troops on a regular basis and especially not to station troops in unsettled areas. This is just a patrol to prevent, to increase the force with the existing border guards, and not to camp at this place. We must avoid any confusion from our friends. We have done well with Thailand, but we need to do better at the Cambodian-Vietnamese border. In particular, we would like to remind the provinces bordering with Vietnam to cooperate with one another – both Cambodia and Vietnam, to prevent human movement – either Cambodians or Vietnamese, without going through quarantines process. Cambodians crossing to Vietnam must go through quarantine. The Vietnamese side to cross into Cambodia also has to do the same. This is the health measures to prevent COVID-19 infection in communities in our country.
Take immediate action and let the media spread my voicemail as widely as possible. Thank you./.