Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 23 – Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen expressed his concern in a special voice message on Thursday over the community outbreak of COVID19 cases on the occasion of Pchum Ben festival.

In this regard, Samdech requested the relevant authorities to reconsider whether the festival shall be temporarily suspended to curb the COVID19 outbreak.

So far, more than 45 cases were detected in pagodas in just two days of the festival.

The premier added that this outbreak is a negative sign for the future control of COVID19.

"I am very concerned that after Pchum Ben festival, the number of COVID19 patients and deaths may increase, which poses a serious risk to the nation. Some rural areas begin to detect high COVID19 cases, which could impact the plan to re-open schools," the premier underlined.

Samdech Hun Sen instructed economy and finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth to work with health minister Mam Bunheng, and minister of cults and religions to seriously consider this matter.

Samdech encourages people to stay calm and live with a new normal. If the Pchum Ben festival can not be suspended, the premier suggested to find a way to reduce the number of gatherings and strictly follow the preventive measures to curb COVID19.

Prime minister Hun Sen asked for the understanding of all monks and citizens all over the country.