Special Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the Guidance for the Capital-Provincial Authorities Regarding the Issuance of Administrative Measures and the Order for Immediate Revision [Unofficial Translation]

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To His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, Capital-Provincial governors!

The Royal Government has ended the Phnom Penh and Takhmao in lockdown, as well as the finished of cross-province travel for a while now. After the measures are finished, the Royal Government also delegates power to the capital-provincial governors to control the situation according to reality.

However, I noticed that some province’s measures had been imposed up to the level that the Cambodians themselves enter their provinces and are required to do quarantine for 14 days. This is not different from creating a state within that state, like when I traveled back from Indonesia, I had to do 14 days quarantine; by doing this, it is equivalent to re-closing the state/country again. For example, people passing through that province must quarantine in that province. We need to continue to focus on those at risk of having covid-19 to retrieve the sample and quarantine, but it is not intended for all the people passing through its province.

In doing so, the people seem to be in a cage, so I ask His Excellency and Lok Chumteav, the capital-provincial governor, who has already issued a decision, must amend that decision immediately to facilitate traffic for the people. When I say this, it is not meant to prevent those are at risk, which we are required to take sample and quarantine which is necessary, but the amendment is to modify the decision so that the people can travel. Otherwise, entry into every province will have to do 14 days quarantine; it is not different from dividing Cambodia into 25 countries. (If) just passing from one province to another, we must be in quarantine, how do we live?

Therefore, I would like to request His Excellency and Lok Chumteav, the Governors of capital-province, to amend your decision immediately; otherwise, you will control only the people in your province but the people of other provinces who go to work in your province must go through quarantine and vice versa which is no different from us locking down the country, the city, and others restrictions some time ago and this has barricaded the economic process of the people in the society.

I support implementing measures such as in Phnom Penh; Phnom Penh is a hot area, but applying soft, firm, but gentle measures. Sihanoukville is also strict but gentle. Still, as in the provinces, such as Prey Veng, Tbong Khmum, the governor of Tbong Khmum I already clarified with, could there be no exceptions? (I suggest) we only take those who are suspicious (of Covid-19 positive) to get tested and quarantine. The people prefer this way; instead, the authorities said there is an exception when the individual has been vaccinated twice, or we cannot do that for other exceptions.

We allow normal travel but must monitor the health measures of those who are high risks or other cases following the authority of the capital-provincial governors; otherwise, our people will feel like it is open as if not open; therefore, in this case, necessary adjustments are needed and report to the group between the Prime Minister and the Governors of the Capital-province back for me, which provinces did and which provinces did not. Still, I have seen that Prey Veng and Tbong Khmum province issued the measures, but I do not know how far Prey Veng province implemented it, while Tbong Khmum province, I have already met with the provincial governor.

So, in conclusion, His Excellency and Lok Chumteav must take immediate action to correct your decision so that it would not be too harsh and disrupt the people’s livelihood, which would kill the economy. It is also a time when the people need to farm, so they need to get from here to there; we have been in lockdown for three weeks, and it is not common, but it is already tough.

Therefore, His Excellency and Lok Chumteav, please look at the whole forest rather than a single tree to solve the problem of Covid-19 in your province; please look at all aspects of economic, social, and general political issues. Thank you./.