Urgent and Special Message Regarding Positive Covid-19 Cases among Cambodian Workers Returning from Thailand [Unofficial Translation]


Manage Formal Border Crossings Points and Corridors; Suspend Transporting; Strengthen Quarantines

My respect to the Holly Buddhist monks and dear compatriots

Today, I have an urgent and special message to address the relevant parties as well as our people. The situation during the last two days, yesterday and today, on the Cambodian-Thai border (has had our attention). There have been two confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections today and by 5pm, there were in all six cases. According to the Institute Pasteur, there could be more cases. There may be more than 10 cases. In such a situation, we must make an effort to contribute to the Kingdom of Thailand in managing the situation. In Thailand yesterday, there were up to 250 cases and today there are nearly 200 cases. Those who came from Thailand are found at our border checkpoint positive with Covid-19 one after the other.

In this situation, I have ordered all forces at the border to be as strict as possible in monitoring the crossing points, both formal ones and the corridors. Absolutely, we must not allow intrusion into inner country without inspection, sampling and going through quarantine. (I issue the) order to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, which has provided transport means, temporarily suspend transporting these brothers and sisters into inner country. (So far, the RCAF transport units) used to (transport them) out and deliver them to quarantine places in their native provinces. We would rather (quarantine them now at) the border rather than transporting our brothers and sisters to inner parts of the country, which would lead to a recurrence in the community (outbreak incident).

We must make efforts to look after these people carefully, and while the transporting to inner parts of the country is to suspend, (we must make efforts) to strengthen the capacity of 14 days quarantine at the border locations where we have determined, and to take samples from there. The Ministry of Health will provide additional funding and medical materials for screening and testing, and with additional medical staff available if necessary.

Strengthen Medical Capacity of Provincial Hospital, Rear Provinces’ Inspection

What I wanted to say now is to reassure the border provinces as well as all border forces to take strict control with our workers traveling from Thailand to Cambodia. So far, there may be a steady increase in the number of infections (among them and) the Battambang Provincial Hospital would have to take up the tasks of providing them with treatments. We need to check and strengthen the treatment capacity of provincial hospitals. We have not seen any (pandemic) outbreaks in these provinces, but the province of Battambang is at the border. According to what happened this morning, one of the two infected persons was born in Pailin and another in Battambang. There is in this development a need to strengthen (medical) capacity there (to deal with Covid-19 cases).

The Ministry of Health needs to take urgent action to increase funding for the quarantine works as well as the sampling test and to speed up the testing by transporting samples speedily to the Institut Pasteur. There are not any test sites yet in the provinces.

I would also like to take this opportunity to issue an order for all the provinces in the rear to inspect the locations where and how many people from Thailand have arrived. There must be serious inspection and strict management. Those transported to their locations must also be under inspection. Those who had sneaked in quietly and had not gone through screening need to have samples testing as well. We must make sure they are in quarantine properly to avoid spreading the disease to others in their families and communities where they live. This is an urgent measure that we all must observe and act together promptly.

Workers in Thailand Should Continue Staying There

That said, I do not mean we will re-introduce what (I) have already laid out (in the previous message), such as the opening of the new school year and the arrangement for some gathering by keeping the distance of 1.5 meters or more from one another. However, this time we have transmission originated from Thailand. I would appeal to our workers working in Thailand to continue staying there so that the Thai authorities can help you to get medical checkup and treatment there, rather than bringing disease into the country and losing jobs as well. I hope you understand (the issue here) that (could create) the difficulties for yourself, for your family, for our nation. I beg you to understand difficult circumstances. Whether (you are) legal or illegal (migrant workers), the Kingdom of Thailand has made it possible for you to stay there. In this regard, you should stay there.

Number of Infected Workers from Thailand Required Immediate Measures

This is a special and urgent message about things required additional measures, including transporting suspension of workers to the rear, and strengthening of quarantine capacity at the border crossing points instead. Despite the tens of thousands (are to come), we must strive to establish a quarantine facilities right at the border. This will help us prevent locating people to inner parts, which could lead to widespread community outbreaks across the country. The Armed Forces must deploy to monitor the movement of our workers in case of evasion. If there is an evasion at the border, the rear provinces must check the number of people who have not passed the screening and testing at the border so that they can be tested and screened at the rear.

These are measures to further fight with Covid-19. We have closed the November 28 (Covid-19 outbreak) event, but, as I already affirmed (in the previous message), that does not mean that Covid-19 is over. That is why we need to continue to keep up monitoring. The number of infection (among the workers coming from Thailand above) is quite alarming and requiring immediate measures. Thank you all for your attention, and please share my voice message widely./.


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