Phnom Penh (FN), Feb. 15 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Health and all relevant officials to enforce strict legal measures in accordance with the Sub-decree on Health Measures to Prevent and Respond to the International Outbreak of Diseases at the Border Gate.
Through his voice message spread on social media on Monday morning, the premier also instructed the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice to review the degree of punishment.
The order was made in response to massive Cambodian migrant workers returning from Thailand and tried to escape the 14-day quarantine, which created high risks of transmitting COVID19 to the community.
The premier said, “While some people are doing quarantine correctly, some are trying to illegally escape. If we continue to be negligent, a bad situation might happen.”
He continued that: “A Cambodian worker returning from Thailand escaped the border patrol in Banteay Meanchey on Sunday evening, and stepped on a landmine. The illegal crossing not only creates high risk of COVID19 community transmission but the man will become disabled after amputation."
Sub-decree on Health Measures to Prevent and Respond to the International Outbreak of Diseases at the Border Gate was promulgated on 17 September 2015. Article 8 of Chapter 5 states that passengers or any vehicle that avoids inspecting officials or does not cooperate officials in implementing health measures or fails to comply with the procedures set out in this sub-decree shall be subject to a fine of USD 50 to USD 250, while the violators still face criminal law and regulations in accordance with the degree of crimes committed.
Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the Ministry of Health and local officials to strictly implement the legal measure and take the strict action against the ringleaders who illegally brought people across the border.
According to the premier, as of 14 February 2021, at least 35,665 migrant workers returned from Thailand. Among those, 11,857 are in quarantine and so far 89 workers tested positive of COVID19.