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Health minister warns KTVs against opening amid Covid-19 pandemic

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Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng orders local authorities to take action against karaoke parlours that are open secretly. Heng Chivoan

Health minister warns KTVs against opening amid Covid-19 pandemic

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has sent a letter to provincial governors across the Kingdom, telling them to take measures against karaoke parlours (KTVs) that are operating in violation of Covid-19 restrictions.

He reiterated his order during a Monday press conference after the launch of the Smart Hospital e-Health Yoeung programme at Preah Ang Duong Hospital.

“I have written to the local authorities to let them know I want action on this problem. I keep watching and some places are open. They are open secretly, not publicly. This is a problem as it is hidden.

“We need to do something to not let KTVs open because it operates in closed rooms and people are shouting loudly,” he said.

He said if someone has Covid-19 it will be transmitted all over the room to everyone.

“Let’s wait until it’s better and let’s just sing. We will open the KTVs again. But if we open it now, it would infect people with the disease, which leads to death. And then they cannot sing when there’s no more Covid-19,” Bun Heng said.

Since the first cases of Covid-19 in Cambodia were detected in early March, the government has ordered the temporary closure of businesses and public spaces such as schools, KTVs, movie theatres, casinos, clubs and fitness centres.

Since conditions in Cambodia have improved, the government has announced the opening of some public places such as national museums. But KTVs are not permitted yet.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang told The Post on Monday that local authorities had put in place strict measures to prevent KTVs to operate at this time.

He said the authorities were also paying close attention and ordering local authorities to monitor sites regularly because he is concerned that if there’s an outbreak of the disease it would be the responsibility of the local authority.

“We are monitoring all activities because we fear secret openings as mentioned by the health minister. In Kampong Speu province, there is no place that is open secretly,” he said.

Cambodia currently has two Covid-19 infected people still being treated in hospital.

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