Audio Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen Reminding the Power Delegation to Provincial/Municipal Authorities to Inspect and Close Locations that Do Not Follow Measures of the Ministry of Health [Unofficial Translation]


I would like to send this (audio message) to His Excellency the Capital/Provincial Governors throughout the country. I would like to remind you of the message on the night of November 29th and 30th, which I announced, during the road construction ceremony in Siem Reap, power delegation to all national institutions (to) decide whether to close part of or completely workplaces (if necessary). As for the provincial governor, I instructed them to check if there is a need to close places if necessary.

So far, we have seen (that there are) many cases of human-to-human transmission in a store. We find out that the main cause was the violations of safety, individual social spacing and lack of sanitary measures as directed by the Ministry of Health. In this regard, I would like to remind all provincial/municipal governors to please monitor all sales/commercial locations and advise them to implement properly the measures issued by the Ministry of Health. If those places refuses to abide by the instructions, please use the power of the provincial/municipal administrations to close those shops temporarily.

We have no better choice than to guarantee (that there is) social distancing, individual spacing, masks wearing, practice of hygiene, both by the shoppers and the sellers. We observe that some stores do not meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Health.

Should the local, provincial, district, municipal, commune/Sangkat, and village authorities fail (to take this matter seriously), such failures would partly be leading to community transmission due to the fact that those with (Covid-19 infection) would transmit to others only if they can get close to those who are not sick yet.

Therefore, I propose very strict implementation of the social distancing, the safety spacing, where there is a gap from person to another, in addition to wearing a mask. As far as (wearing) masks is concerned, in Phnom Penh, I released two million of facemasks and one million of medical masks, three million masks already in total. One cannot say that there is a lack of masks. Those (masks) are for the poor. For those who can afford to go shopping, I think they can afford to buy a mask to wear.

Therefore, I strongly urge all shops, vendors, business people, and street travelers to adhere strictly to masks wearing. Entry of shops and eating must also observe social distancing measures set by the Ministry of Health. We already provided instructions on that.

Frankly speaking, I have already prepared the Royal Decree and the message for HM the King to declare putting the country in a state of emergency. (I also) drafted sub-decree and the letters for the President of the National Assembly and the Senate, but I do not want to get there because it will stall the Cambodian economy. Closing the whole country or in part/s, such as Phnom Penh or anyone province, it will stall the economy, especially affecting the business of our people.

However, we can try to replace this (emergency) through the efforts of the authorities at all levels, especially the participation of our people. Please understand the situation, (for every measures taken they are) not for (the sake of) any other people’s sake but for your very own sake. From the beginning, I said that we must start from each and every individual. If the individual cannot do this, the pandemic will get to the family, and then to our community, which will cause serious damage to the nation.

From the onset, I already affirmed (by) stating that the period of 15 days to come is a difficult one. Whether we can or cannot control it will decide within the 15 days. From the 30th until now, it has been 6 days. In the past six days, we have seen that today the infection rate is low, only one person, compared to a few days ago, when the number of infection was high. However, this does not mean that we have ended the November-28 (Covid-19) community outbreak event.

We have to keep up our efforts (because we) do not know where the disease is hiding. So please be careful. Some shops that need to be closed should be closed for a while to check on their staffs and to disinfect the shops. Reopening after disinfecting efforts would not be late. It is better than leaving the stores to become a haven for diseases from which we can never recover.

I hope all of you will be tolerant of the current situation in our country. Please continue to wear masks. I am sure most of our people do not lack money to buy masks. So far, we have already released millions of masks by the Ministry of Health, the private sector, as well as the Royal Government, who provided three million masks for Phnom Penh and one million masks for Siem Reap province. We have released millions of masks. It is not expensive and it should not be difficult to wear a mask than to get sick.

We hope that our people will work together to address this issue in order to end communicable disease in the community. So far, we have identified the differences between the November-3 and November-28 community (outbreak) events and identified the first patients, and people involved, whom the Ministry of Health revealed their names and photos. People known themselves to have involved should rush to the doctor to get a sample and place themselves in isolation.

I would like to remind the authorities, especially the provincial/municipal governors, to pay attentions inspecting shops in their jurisdictions and giving directions both sellers and shoppers to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health. There must be a clear instruction. If they do not listen (to the instruction), (the provincial/municipal governors) may use their power to close the place temporarily to prevent spreading in places that lack attention and that do not follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health.

I recommend thorough implementation (of this instruction). I have made many instructions so far. I have already authorized His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, the municipal/provincial governors. What remains to do is the implementation. We cannot wait for the physicians, for the health offices, and the Ministry of Health to check every shops/commercial locations. This is the responsibility of all provincial/municipal governors to fulfill. Please do this work thoroughly and successfully. Thank You.


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