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Soldiers to stay put amid virus threats

Soldiers to stay put amid virus threats

Concerns over the Covid-19 virus has prompted Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen to issue an order on Tuesday banning soldiers from leaving their units and barracks or gathering for any events before the upcoming April 14-16 Khmer New Year celebrations.

“Commanders must strictly prohibit soldiers from going out of their units and barracks,” he wrote in his order.

Pisen said all military forces must be ready to stop the spread of the virus and should pay attention to the order.

“Director of the Cabinet of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, General Commander of Army, Expert Army, Director of the Institution and School under the General Department of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces must assign and implement this order in an effective way upon the singing of this order unless there is any new order and report from Headquarters of the General Department,” he said.

Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat could not be reached for comment.

The order states that due to concerns about Covid-19, all military units must reduce the gathering of more than 30 people except when necessary.

They are also under orders to keep a distance of 2m from each other. All military units are also expected to help prevent any social threat from exaggerated news in any social media and other sources that affect society and the emotions of the troops.

“All military units must educate and issue any rule to protect and prevent a spread of the virus according to the regulation of the government and the Ministry of Health,” said the text regarding the order.

The order also said that all institutions cannot allow trainees to leave their compounds unless there is a special case and they have to be checked upon re-entry.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also issued a call on March 29 to the working group of the Cambodian People’s Party, including senators, members of the National Assembly and government officers, youth association and other related authorities to continue to spread information about how to protect themselves from illness.

He asked them to bring masks and hand sanitisers that could kill the virus and distribute rice, noodles, and canned fish to the poor nationwide.

On Facebook, he wrote: “Do not call them to any meeting, but you go to the place where they live, especially in this situation when we are battling and fighting with this Covid-19.”

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