Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen: Covid-19 cannot be contained by one country

Hun Sen: Covid-19 cannot be contained by one country

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The 36th ASEAN Special Summit was held via video conference. Hun Sen’s Facebook Page

Hun Sen: Covid-19 cannot be contained by one country

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday called for concerted efforts and coordinated action among ASEAN member states in a “joint battle” to fight against Covid-19.

Speaking during the 36th ASEAN Special Summit via video conference, Hun Sen said the bloc’s member states have targeted their fight against Covid-19 domestically. He urged for a change of course, as the virus can spread across borders.

He pointed out that the Kingdom had seen a small cluster of infections, the majority of which were imported.

“The containment of this disease cannot be done within one country. The success in fighting Covid-19 requires in-depth and comprehensive cooperation across sectors. ASEAN has to unite together in fighting Covid-19 as a common cause.

“ASEAN, as a community of common destiny, should enhance closer coordination and dialogue among member states ahead of introducing any measures, thus avoiding heavy socio-economic damage within the region through unilateral measures such as a closure of cross-border checkpoints without prior notice,” he said.

He said unilateral measures could disrupt production, supply chains and trade flows between countries, thereby affecting the entire regional economy.

The prime minister urged member states to enhance the timely exchange of information, experiences, techniques and medical knowledge related to the diagnosis, monitoring, control and treatment of Covid-19 patients.

He also called for more support among member states, including the sharing of medical equipment and supplies, which he said has been facilitated through the establishment of the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund.

Citing Cambodia’s experience, Hun Sen urged ASEAN members to foster and cultivate a culture of sharing as the fight against Covid-19 requires significant funding and resources.

He said public institutions can pool their donations and distribute them to the people in need. Development partners and NGOs, he said, can also contribute by donating necessities to the people.

He said sharing can be from high-income groups towards the society and low-income groups, and between people in the communities.

“This culture has not only helped relieve pressure on the national budget but also established a united movement, a spirit of one nation and a catalyst to fighting against Covid-19,” he said.

Hun Sen urged ASEAN members to avoid racial discrimination and the blame game, which would only undermine solidarity.

He said Cambodia has been providing Covid-19 treatment not only to Cambodians but also foreigners too.

As of Tuesday, the number of coronavirus infections in the Kingdom remained at 122. Of the number, 38 are women.

Among the 91 Covid-19 patients who have since recovered, 55 are foreigners. They include two Malaysians, three Indonesians, a Chinese, five Britons, 40 French, a Canadian, a Belgian and two Americans.

Hun Sen urged the bloc to continue the spirit of mutual assistance, drawing attention on those stranded in any ASEAN country.

While commending other member states for assisting Cambodians in their countries, he said on March 25, the Kingdom permitted Malaysia to arrange a flight to take 111 of its nationals home.

He made similar appeals to China, Japan and South Korea in another ASEAN Plus Three video conference.

He thanked China for sending medical, civil and military personnel along with medical equipment to help the Kingdom fight Covid-19. He also thanked Japan which has pledged to provide a $20 million grant for Cambodia to purchase medical equipment, medicines, and ambulances.

Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch said a joint battle in the fight against Covid-19 within the ASEAN framework could be achieved only in principal. He said ASEAN does not have common strategies on any issue aside from politics.

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.