Audio Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Concerning Orders and Measures to Quickly End the November 3 Event [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

To the leaders at all levels and our dear compatriots, the incident related to the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, which I would like to call it the November 3 event […] caused a stir in Phnom Penh and Kandal province, and from there some people involved has gone to Pursat, Sihanoukville, Takeo, Kampot and Kep provinces. In particular, the case has been severe in Phnom Penh and possibly in Kandal province, including where the bodyguards units locate​d […]

Today, after the second test, three more – two senior Cambodian officials, plus the Hungarian ambassador – are positive. The total number of infection has risen now to four persons. We have to a certain extent managed to control the situation by closing down actions at the Olympic Stadium, public and private schools in ​Phnom Penh and Kandal province for a short period of time […] the Minister of Health also asked me to close some other places like museums, etc. as already announced […]

I would like to take this opportunity to call on our people not to panic in the face of this situation. Of course, the situation is serious, but it is not yet growing to the point of panic causing consumer foods/goods price concerns. I would like to thank my compatriots who are doing businesses in the markets for their calmness, not overreacting, especially in terms of (consumer foods/goods) prices, both in Phnom Penh and in the provinces. The situation is under control; our people are still living a normal life.

My real concern is relating to the quarantine, which I would like to re-appeal to all officials and related people to do the proper quarantine, not only themselves, but even their spouses and children. They must be stay thoroughly isolated in the house, because they have been in contact with each other. However, to my knowledge, on last Saturday and Sunday, some of our officials’ spouses who considered themselves indirectly affected went to some parties. That is a major negligence and it can lead to disaster. I urge all related people (of the November 3 event), including their spouses, children and family members to stay home and practice appropriate quarantines. It is important that we do not spread the virus to others in society. This is our only option if we want to end the November 3 event as soon as we can.

Even more dangerous is (the possibility of) losing trace of infection to people outside the loop which could ultimately lead to community spreads, and it is a disaster that will happen not only in Phnom Penh. It can spread throughout the country. From experience in our neighboring countries, especially Myanmar, which, in the past, their cases were similar to ours, now Myanmar has surpassed Singapore because they have now about 60,000 infected and more than 1,000 people have died. In a short period of time, more than 1,000 people were infected and dozens died each day. Therefore, we need to look at and remember the experience of neighboring countries […]

I have already issued an order via Facebook in the evening, but now I would like to issue another order to everyone in quarantines at home. Local authorities must arrange for a follow-up visit. If they are found unable to quarantine properly, please hurriedly invite them to a location provided by the health department, whether in Phnom Penh or in the provinces, and it must be strictly guarded by the national police and the military police. This is not a detention but a necessity to isolate oneself. If you want to be isolated at home, also known as home quarantine, please follow by the rules. If you violated the prohibitions and regulations, the remaining option of the Royal Government is to invite you to the quarantine place where you will be under guards.

I urge the Ministry of Interior, the General Commissioner of the Ministry of National Defense, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and the Commander-in-Chief of the National Gendarmerie to be ready to protect the area where the joint quarantines is to take place. I appeal to the authorities at all levels to check on those who quarantined at home to make sure they have properly followed the rules.

This has just been an appeal. Unlike other countries, they used the military to implement measures to close down the country or areas or where there were violation of the Covid-19 ban. Some countries fined in cash, some used forces to guard (those in quarantines). I have not yet reached that point, but I beg you to protect yourselves in just two weeks. Action that does not take into account their lives, their children’s and others’ is a disaster for our nation, which sadly should not happen. I beg and plead again to all of you who do home quarantines, please practice properly, do not go out, or otherwise coercive measures are necessary to invite them to common quarantine places organized by the Ministry of Health and the health departments in provinces/districts across the country.

We can overcome this (situation). If we however continue to be negligent, the situation would run out of control and it started from (the capital city of) Phnom Penh. For those who have no spaces for self-isolation at home, we have arranged the 400-rooms Sokha Hotel (in Phnom Penh for that isolation purpose). So far, only about ten people have shown up […] we also have other isolation places such as the one run by the military, for instance, […] but in case you would not respond positively to the appeal, the authorities at all levels will take responsibility to invite you to those places where there are guards. (The measures taken) was to protect ourselves, protect others, defend our country, and our life […] and if the transmission reaches other people whom we do not know about, and those infected are unaware of the tragedy, community infection could occur […]

I have made the appeal before thinking about declaring lockdown of Phnom Penh or any parts of the country. We already have the law on placing the country in emergency and I may request HM the King to approve (the Royal Government of Cambodia’s measures) […] but I do not want to go to that point because it will affect the rights and freedoms of many people. We have only more than 900 direct and indirect affected people due to negligence, as some senior officials traveled to Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot and Takeo […]. For those of you in Phnom Penh, the risk has been real when some of our officials went to a wedding or other ceremonies thinking that they are not directly involved (with the November-3 Event).

Therefore, I am urging us (to pay attention to strict quarantines so that we can) put an end to this so-called November-3 Event within the next three weeks, and the way to achieve that requires the most thorough quarantines. Otherwise, the pandemic would be catastrophic to our country as it did to other countries. I am sure our people will pay heed to this instruction and implement it strictly./.