Public involvement in the prevention of Covid-19 has lessened and another lockdown was the only way to curb its spread if a large-scale community outbreak returns, said Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine.
Speaking to the media on June 24, Vandine said the government and health ministry had already introduced the necessary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but what was missing is public participation. If preventative practices are ignored and an outbreak occurs, the only solution is another lockdown.
“I see some people are careless now. They don’t wear masks and they gather in public places, I have witnessed that [behaviour]. Please understand that when you are not infected with the disease, you can say it is fine. But when you get it, you will understand hardship,” she said.
To avoid another lockdown that will only affect the economy and businesses, she said public participation is a must.
Vandine, who is also head of the national commission for Covid-19 vaccination programnme, appealed to the public not to purchase medication for self-treatment as it poses health risks. She said some people who believe they are infected attempted this without knowing what illness they actually had. There was no over-the-counter medicine available to treat the disease, she stressed.
The health ministry early this week banned the distribution and sale of Covid-19 antibody rapid testing kits that have not been registered or recognised by the government. The ban came after four Facebook accounts advertised the kits.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said on June 24 that the antibody rapid test is not necessary for those who have already been vaccinated. WHO did not recommended taking this test because it is not recognised by the organisation.
Separately, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration announced on June 24 that private markets in the capital that are clean and have implemented preventative measures can reopen starting June 25. However, those that have not put in place these measures must remain closed.
The announcement said those who break health measures and the instructions of market management, such as mask wearing, hand sanitising and safety distancing, will be fined between 200,000 and one million riel ($50 and$250) as stated in an inter-ministerial prakas dated March 19.
Also, those who violate the ban on gatherings in markets will be fined up to two million riel.