PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): The Cambodian government has approved a draft law on state of emergency amid the spread of Covid-19, according to a statement released late Tuesday (March 31).
The draft bill was approved on Tuesday during a permanent cabinet members meeting chaired by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the statement said.
A state of emergency can be declared when the people face dangers such as war or foreign invasion, public health concerns caused by pandemics, serious chaos to national security and public order, and severe calamity, it said.
The draft law gives the government powers to take all necessary measures to govern the country in a state of emergency with the aim of protecting security, public order, people's lives and health, assets and environment, it added.
The draft bill was made based on the Article 22 of the Constitution, which stated that when the nation faces danger, the King shall make a proclamation to the people putting the country in a state of emergency after agreement with the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate.
Hun Sen said on Monday that the draft law will stipulate a number of measures including imposing curfews, preventing mass gatherings, and locking down public or private spaces, among others.
He added that during the state of emergency, the army will be used to enforce the law.
"I'd like to appeal to the people not to worry about this law. I don't want to use it, just want it in place," he told a press conference.
"Only when the situation is out of control, will we use this law to declare the country in a state of emergency for a certain period of time."
The draft law needs to be adopted by the National Assembly and finally reviewed by the Senate before being submitted to the King for promulgation.
The hastily drafted law was made after the country had seen a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
Cambodia has so far recorded 109 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 25 people cured, according to the Ministry of Health. - Xinhua