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Governors told to strengthen Covid measures after lifting of travel ban

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Health officials check the body temperature of travellers in Kandal province last week, as a preventive measure against Covid-19. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

Governors told to strengthen Covid measures after lifting of travel ban

A directive issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of April 25 reminded municipal and provincial governors to strengthen measures to contain the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19.

The new directive, "Strengthening the Implementation of Measures to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19 and Lockdown Measures in the Capital and Provinces”, said the government had already introduced a series of measures aimed at breaking the chain of transmission triggered by the February 20 outbreak, including inter-provincial travel ban and closures of all tourist attractions across the country.

Municipal and provincial governors, on their part, had also introduced measures for implementation in their jurisdictions to curb the spread, including lockdown and designation of Covid-19 hotspots as Red Zones – where residents are forbidden from leaving their homes.

Those measures have apparently borne fruit, with the government eventually deciding to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and reopen resorts across the country on April 25 – save for Phnom Penh and adjacent Takhmao town Kandal province, where the situations have yet to subside.

Hun Sen, however, reminded the governors not to let their guard down.

"In this new development, municipal and provincial board of governors must continue to strictly implement the lockdown in outbreak areas in your jurisdictions, and immediately suspend business work and other work activities to prevent the spread of Covid-19, especially by human traffic," he stated in the directive.

He also advised the governors to strengthen cooperation with health officials in follow-up procedures for travellers from Covid-19 hotspots who test positive for the virus by identifying people who have come in direct or indirect contact with the individual. If a traveller tested negative, that person could remain but must notify local authorities of their residence and take safety precautions during their stay.

He further suggested that if there is an outbreak in a bordering province, provincial authorities can implement restrictions or travel bans in their jurisdiction, in accordance with Sub-Decree No 57 dated March 31 of the law to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and contagious diseases.

After receiving the prime minister’s directive, Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng announced an extension of the ban on the sales of alcoholic drinks across the capital for another two weeks, effective through May 8.

He instructed the 14 district administrations and the Phnom Penh municipal Department of Commerce to inspect places that sell alcohol and ensure the order was being followed, and anyone failing to cooperate would be punished in accordance with the law without exception.

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