Two Cambodian workers in Oddar Meanchey province have made a public apology to authorities, health officials and the government for having posted a pre-recorded video message on Facebook alleging that the authorities had provided inadequate food and supplies during their quarantine.

Following the allegations, officials visited the workers and questioned them directly about the video they had posted.

The workers, Don Chanthou and her older sister Don Chanthy, admitted that they had made these allegations because they missed their family and wanted to go home.

“We posted a video on social media. We didn’t mean any of it to be taken seriously, and it wasn’t our intention to attack the provincial leaders and other officials. In fact, the [quarantine centre] has provided us with good food, not raw rice and just fish paste or prahok like I mentioned in the video,” Chanthou said.

The video message posted on Chanthou’s Facebook account on December 31 said: “Hello, 2021! Everybody else seems fine, but my four siblings and one of their children have all been eating [nothing but] plain rice like in a prison for the past 14 days.”

The provincial hall’s administration director, Chea Piseth, denied the allegations.

“It’s not true and totally unreasonable, as they now admit. Authorities provided three full meals a day to all the workers who were staying in the quarantine centre, and our medical staff frequently checks on their health,” he said.

When questioned, another worker who is staying in the quarantine centre in Oddar Meanchey province said he is pleased with the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to his family members at home.

“We come from far away and we do not know if we have contracted the Covid-19 virus or not so we understand why the authorities require us to be isolated for 14 days,” he said.

He also said that during the quarantine the workers had received some basic supplies such as mosquito nets and blankets in addition to the daily meals.

Cambodian workers have returned from Thailand through seven provinces along the Cambodian- Thai border after Thai authorities reported an outbreak of Covid-19 that had spread into the community.

From December 20 to January 5, between 5,000 and 6,000 Cambodian workers had returned from Thailand.

The decision to impose a 14-day mandatory quarantine for returning migrant workers was made in response to the severity of the outbreak. So far, 17 returning workers have tested positive for Covid-19.

As of January 4, Cambodia had recorded a total of 382 Covid-19 cases, with 20 patients remaining hospitalised.