Cambodia steps up stockpiling of necessities

  • Cambodia
  • Tuesday, 07 Apr 2020

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has ordered more measures to be implemented to ensure that citizens and medical staff have enough food and daily necessities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the government would buy 10 million simple face masks, 500,000 medical face masks and 5,000 sets of clothing for health workers, and at least one million litres of handwashing alcohol as a reserve for the government.

Hun Sen said he wanted 10 million masks, either produced domestically or bought overseas, to be stockpiled.

“If a factory in Preah Sihanouk (province) could produce many more masks, we will buy them all,” he said.

He also instructed Council for the Development of Cambodia secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea and Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng to work with factories to buy the masks, medical clothing and alcohol to be stockpiled.

The government had already ordered 5.2 million simple masks, 200,000 medical masks and 5,000 sets of medical clothing for health workers, he said.

The prime minister also called for more financial assistance for frontline health workers.

“(I) suggest that Bun Heng and Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth find ways to increase the budget for frontline health workers because they haven’t been able to stay close to their families over the past few months.

“They have made a great sacrifice, so they should not be left worrying about their families. I suggest a budget increase for them,” he said.Besides protective gear, Hun Sen ordered the purchase of petrol to be stockpiled for use when troops are sent to retrieve migrants who may still return from Thailand.

The government’s stockpile of food such as rice, noodles and clear water was to be reviewed, as well to ensure a safety net in case of a shortage.

The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that it had not detected new cases of Covid-19 two days in a row, while 50 of the 114 Covid-19 positive patients had recovered.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said despite that, Cambodia would remain vigilant to contain human-to-human transmission.

“Please continue following instructions constantly. We didn’t find new cases for two days in a row, but we can’t think that there are no infections and relent in our fight against the disease,” she said.

“Instead, it is an opportunity for the Covid-19 virus to attack us eventually. We are yet to conclude that the Covid-19 pandemic has ended in Cambodia.” — The Phnom Penh Post/ANN
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