Health Minister Mam Bun Heng yesterday announced the formation of a working group to address mass fainting, a day after the premier raised the issue at a meeting with garment workers, though relevant officials had few details on the group’s objectives.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday told garment workers in Phnom Penh that more research was needed into mass fainting incidents at factories.

Bun Heng yesterday told government mouthpiece Fresh News that a working group was created under the leadership of Health Ministry Secretary of State Eng Huot, along with the Labour Ministry and World Health Organisation.

He directed queries to ministry spokesman Ly Sovann, who said he only knew of the group’s creation from local media.

“I am not aware of this. I know it through Fresh News too. The purpose to create this group is to find the reason of fainting that happens to the workers,” he said.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour only confirmed creation of an inter-ministerial group that may also include NGOs, and the WHO could not provide a response yesterday.

In his speech on Wednesday, the premier referred to a pill or “candy” as a potential panacea – claiming workers could take it to protect themselves from fainting after inhaling toxic fumes. He claimed to have used it when he was in the armed forces to neutralise the effect of chemical weapons.