Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the immediate provision of additional funds and materials to four of the seven provinces on the Cambodian-Thai border for the operation of their quarantine facilities for Cambodian migrant workers returning from Thailand.
In a letter on February 2, the Ministry of Health said a total of 850 packages containing rubber mats, mosquito nets, blankets, pillows, sarong and scarves, 11,500 boxes of water and 5,500 boxes of instant noodles were delivered to the four provinces – Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Pailin – along with 2.47 billion riel ($600,000).
According to the letter, the supplies were divided by the provinces according to need based on the size of the population they had under quarantine.
Battambang received an additional 375 million riel; Banteay Meanchey another 1.17 billion riel; Oddar Meanchey another 780 million riel; and 150 million riel in additional funding will go to Pailin.
According to the letter, the three other provinces that border Thailand – Koh Kong, Pursat and Preah Vihear – were not provided with additional funds and materials because those provinces still have enough money and supplies for their quarantine centres.
Separately, the health ministry called on the public to continue carrying out Covid-19 preventive measures and exercising heightened caution during the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations this month and the Khmer New Year in April.
In a letter dated February 1, health minister Mam Bun Heng instructed Phnom Penh municipal and provincial authorities to attentively manage the flow of migrant workers and other travellers, especially those coming and going to the provinces on the Thai border.
The minister said the border provinces must make serious and concerted efforts to keep all migrant workers in quarantine for the full 14-day period despite the upcoming holiday in order to prevent Covid-19 from taking hold in Cambodia.
“The ministry would like to encourage and instruct everyone to follow important health measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands, social distancing and the ‘three do’s and three don’ts’ consistently,” he wrote.
He added that those going on trips within Cambodia should take small family-only excursions and avoid using public means of transport if it means that social distancing measures cannot be followed.
The minister also noted that those who are travelling for the holidays should stay at guesthouses or hotels where the management fully complies with all health safety and hygiene guidelines.
While speaking on February 1 at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Bakheng Water Production Facilities and the inauguration of the Chamcar Mon Water Production Facilities, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he was not planning on cancelling or postponing Khmer New Year celebrations in April.
“This year, obviously, I don’t plan on cancelling Khmer New Year celebrations or rescheduling them like we did last year,” he said.
The prime minister then urged everyone to remain calm as the nation collectively faces the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic, while continuing to rigorously comply with all of the recommended preventive measures.
As of February 2, Cambodia had recorded a total of 466 Covid-19 cases with 22 still undergoing treatment in hospitals.