The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia and Prime Minister Hun Sen have called on the public to remain cautious about Covid-19. They reminded the people that a second wave of the virus is a “real threat”.
The appeal came despite the Kingdom reporting no new cases of infections for nearly one month.
WHO Representative to Cambodia Dr Li Ailan said in a press conference on Monday that the Covid-19 pandemic was not over.
“As we cannot predict resolutely how the pandemic will go, the best thing for us to do is to prepare our best response for when the next wave comes to Cambodia.
“I take this opportunity to call for three important things for all of us and the people in Cambodia – be vigilant, be a champion for the new normal and be ready for emergency responses in the future,” she said.
The Kingdom has contained the pandemic well for the past three months but it must also be prepared for a potential second wave, she said.
Ailan said the pandemic has changed the world. Daily living habits have also changed, including the way people studied, travelled and worked.
Relaxing restrictions too soon or opening business operations without proper planning in place would be detrimental to the country, she said.
Ministry of Health secretary of state Or Vandine said even though almost all Covid-19 patients in Cambodia have recovered with no new cases recorded, the pandemic is not over.
Cambodia has overcome “The Hammer” phase of the virus, she said, as strict measures were put in place to curb its spread.
She said the Kingdom is now entering “The Dance” phase, when life starts to return to normal but which can trigger a second wave of infections if precautions are not taken seriously.
“Cambodia is getting back to normal, but citizens must take daily prevention measures, including washing hands, wearing masks and avoiding gatherings.
“Cambodia has overcome The Hammer and the next phase is The Dance, which means if we do not live in the right way, we will fall down and possibly cause a second wave of infections,” she said.
She said citizens must remain vigilant and suggested suspending wedding parties, religious gatherings, and night outings because it is easy for the virus to spread in these settings.
Vandine advised citizens to wait two to three more months to assess the global situation.
The rate of coronavirus infections remains high globally, with tens of thousands of people infected in a single day, Vandine said, adding that more than four million people are infected and 260,000 have died.
“Studies have shown that Covid-19 spreads faster when people gather. The spread during gatherings is astonishing. The risk of spreading it from one person to another is great, especially when people are moving from one place to another,” she said.
On Friday, Hun Sen reminded citizens in a Facebook post to focus on taking care of their health to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“This disease is brutal and it can spread from one person to another very quickly. Cambodia and the WHO are joining hands to fight against Covid-19.
“A treatment has not been found yet. This brutal disease continues to threaten people’s lives around the world. A lot of countries are still in lockdown,” he said.
Hun Sen called on all citizens to wear masks or Khmer krama and wash their hands with alcohol or hand sanitisers.