— Cambodian Prime Minister, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, yesterday called on people to take extra precautions, to prevent large-scale COVID-19 transmission during the Pchum Ben public holiday on Oct 5-7.

During the holiday, people are expected to travel across the nation, which can pose high risk of large-scale transmission, especially the Delta variant, the prime minister said.

He advised local authorities to enforce preventive measures at tourism-related businesses and resorts during the holiday, and encouraged state institutions and private companies to rapid test their employees for COVID-19, when they return to work.

“The measures aim to prevent and contain large-scale COVID-19 transmission and to protect people’s lives and health, as the Kingdom of Cambodia is stepping towards reopening the country fully in all fields, in the near future,” Hun Sen said.

Pchum Ben festival is the kingdom’s second largest festival, after the Khmer New Year. This year’s festival is cancelled, to curb the spread of the disease, but the three-day holiday is maintained, for all state institution and private company workers.

Earlier this week, Labour Minister, Ith Samheng, instructed owners of garment, footwear and travel goods factories across the country, to rapid test their workers for the disease, when they return to work from the holiday.

“Testing for COVID-19 is the responsibility of the owners or managers of factories and enterprises,” he said in a letter.

“Any worker who refuses to take a test will be guilty of a serious infraction of disciplinary, safety and health regulations, as stated in Article 83 of the labour law.”

He added that, employers have permission to summarily dismiss any returning worker who refuses to be tested or evades the testing requirement.

Cambodia yesterday confirmed 199 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the national total caseload to 113,256, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement.

Twenty-three more fatalities were registered, taking the overall death toll to 2,383, it said, adding that, an additional 490 patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 104,408.

The Kingdom launched a COVID-19 vaccination drive in Feb, with China being the key vaccine supplier.

The MoH’s secretary of state and spokeswoman, Or Vandine, said, as of Oct 2, the nation administered at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 13.42 million people, or 83.9 percent of its 16-million population.

Of them, 11.1 million, or 69.4 percent, have been fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 901,907, or 5.6 percent, have received a booster dose, she said in a report

Source: NAM News Network

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