Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19, follow preventive measures and respect the road traffic law to prevent accidents during the Khmer New Year holiday.

The premier made the call in an audio address to the nation on April 15, noting that some people were seen celebrating the New Year without wearing mask to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

“The [April 14-16] Khmer New Year has entered its second day, and people have been travelling to various places in large number. While these are happy days, after we failed to celebrate it for two years [due to Covid-19], I notice that many of our people, especially youths, did not wear mask ,” he said.

He urged the public to continue following preventive measures including mask wearing, except in the four provinces of Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng and Preah Vihear that have been declared mask-optional by a recent government circular.

Hun Sen reiterated his call for the public to get vaccinated either with their basic dose or booster shot, noting that although authorities have set up many Covid-19 vaccination sites during the holiday, only a small number of people had visited them to get the jabs.

He also called on authorities at all levels and the armed forces to maintain security and public order for the people to enjoy the holiday, and to enforce the road traffic law to minimise accidents and casualties.

“While there have been no deaths from Covid-19 of late, we have seen people killed in road accidents during the Khmer New Year holiday. And while daily infection rate has remained low at less than 20 cases before and during the New Year holiday, the number of road traffic accidents are still high,” he said.

Hun Sen also urged people suspected of having contracted the coronavirus to get tested to prevent transmission to thier family and the community.