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Nine million Covid masks for garment factory staff

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A security guard takes the temperature of workers before they enter a factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district last July. Heng Chivoan

Nine million Covid masks for garment factory staff

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) announced that member factories can contact it to receive free masks from February 16 to March 31, after it received more than nine million masks from Fast Retailing, the parent company of the Uniqlo brand in Japan.

“These masks represent the ongoing efforts of GMAC and Uniqlo to help our industry cope with Covid-19. We will distribute nine masks to each worker. Please make arrangements to collect the masks from our office and help distribute them to your workers,” it added.

GMAC deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on February 6 that the association would distribute the masks to all factories and workers, as well as other institutions that contacted it within the specified time.

“The distribution of the masks to the workers is a valuable contribution by Fast Retailing to the government and our sector and will aid in the prevention of Covid-19,” he said.

GMAC staff member Kong Chanmarady said that within two days of GMAC’s announcement, more than 20 factories had requested masks for distribution to workers.

She said the factories would provide masks for tens of thousands of their workers.

“The masks will arrive soon and we will let them know in advance when they can come to collect them,” she added.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, praised GMAC’s efforts to seek donor support to obtain these masks for free distribution to Cambodian workers.

In addition, he expected GMAC to continue its efforts to seek the support of partners or other donors to provide other equipment – such as sanitiser and temperature sensors – to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the factories.

This was because he had noticed that some factories did not seem to be following all of the recommended health measures, with some not being regularly disinfected.

“Although Covid-19 cases are declining and we are making remarkable progress against the Omicron variant, GMAC should continue reaching out to donors to ensure that protective equipment is added to all member factories. This will greatly reduce the chances of the virus spreading,” he said.

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