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No plan to reopen entertainment venues now, health minister says

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Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng says Karaoke clubs are not worth dying over. Hong Menea

No plan to reopen entertainment venues now, health minister says

The Ministry of Health is still not clear about a plan to reopen some businesses, particularly KTVs, which were closed because of Covid-19. Even though the situation appears to be under control, the ministry is asking citizens to be patient a little longer.

At a weekly press conference on Monday, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng did not provide a clear timeframe for the opening of business such as KTVs, museums, other public entertainment venues and schools.

“KTV means Karaoke, right? I also want to go but frankly speaking, I’m afraid of dying. It is not the right time [to open businesses] and I don’t know how other countries do it,” Bun Heng said.

He noted that many of the other countries in the region had more patients and more dead.

The minister also encouraged citizens who like to sing to do so at home with their families. “It is better than going to a KTV which can be infected with Covid-19.

“If we don’t have [Karaoke] we won’t die. Please forgive me, I’m speaking honestly. As I said, we have to be careful at this point. I understand that if we are negligent, it can bring new cases. So, we have to be careful and patient,” he said.

Bun Heng also advised against drinking at this time. “If we don’t drink alcohol, we still can survive. We have to work together,” he said.

Cambodia, he said, still faced the possibility of a new explosion of cases if a vaccination isn’t found. The government ordered KTVs closed in March. The same went for cinemas, schools, clubs and some other public places without a timeline for reopening.

World Health Organisation (WHO) director in Cambodia Dr Li Alian recently said at a press conference that under the circumstances, it is a bad time for Cambodia to allow the reopening of some businesses and other public places.

She used the example of KTVs, which she considers the most dangerous places for Covid-19.

“Opening businesses is a decision for the government, business owners and staff. What I want to clarify is that this virus can infect places with insufficient air circulation, especially crowded places like KTVs that are high risk”.

The ministry said as of Monday, Cambodia does not have any new cases of Covid-19. Of the 122 patients who had tested positive, 120 have recovered, it said.

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