Prime Minister Hun Sen has renewed his call for people to respect road traffic laws as there remain more deaths from road accidents than from Covid-19. The premier noted that while most Covid-19 patients were cured, many road accident victims ended up disabled.

The call came on March 23 at the inauguration ceremony of a new 64km stretch of National Road 21 which connects the Takhmao roundabout in Kandal province to the Cambodian-Vietnamese international border checkpoint between Chrey Thom and Vietnam’s Long Binh.

“I once again remind the public to respect the laws of the road. We have many high-quality safe new roads opening all the time, it seems, but people are still left in tears because of accidents. Yesterday, road accidents left six people dead and eight others seriously injured across the Kingdom, while not a single victim succumbed to Covid-19.

“Every single day, we lose between five and eight of our people to preventable accidents, and it needs to stop. If the average number of people killed is five a day, then in just 10 days, up to 50 people will have lost their lives. It is easy to appreciate how this loss creates serious social problems for Cambodia.

“Imagine the deceased was the head of a family. Who would raise the children and support the wife? This is just one more reason to understand and respect the traffic laws. Passengers must wear seatbelts in cars, and a helmet is a must before you even think about getting on a motorcycle,” Hun Sen said.

In 2021, nearly 1,500 people were killed in traffic accidents and 3,615 people were seriously injured.

According to the Ministry of Health, the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths is now declining. There were now several days where no deaths had been recorded at all, it said.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine warned that although the number of infections was on the decline, people should not forget to protect themselves.

“Do not underestimate the virus, and work together to restrict its spread,” she said, as Cambodia launched its second national anti-Covid 19 campaign on March 22 with the slogan “Rapid, rampant and risky Omicron is a serious danger to you and your family”.

“In the current situation, the spread of Covid-19 remains a concern. Although the figures show a gradual decline, which is very good, I urge people to take care and maintain safety precautions.

Practising the three dos and don’ts and making sure your vaccinations are up to date are still the best measures the public could employ,” she added.

As of March 23, Cambodia had recorded a total of 13,438 Omicron community cases and 51 deaths from the highly transmissible variant.