Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng expressed concerns over the continued high rate of transmission of Covid-19 in the capital during the Pchum Ben festival as the capital’s masses prepare to head to their hometowns for the public holiday.
He instructed the governors of Phnom Penh’s 14 districts to strengthen Covid-19 preventive measures at all points of all routes leading into and exiting out of the capital.
Speaking during a video conference on October 4, Sreng said the government had spent a great deal of urgent resources in its effort to prevent Covid-19 and provide all possible assistance to those victims affected either directly or even indirectly.
He told the officials and police officers in each district to go down to all of the bus and taxi stations and other drop-off and boarding points to remind the drivers and passengers not to travel in large crowds or in overly-crowded vehicles without good air passage for their holiday trips.
“Especially, when our people return from their hometowns, the authorities have to do rapid testing on them at the city’s edge in order to prevent the disease from spreading anew at factories and other businesses in Phnom Penh. The authorities have to motivate people to take the utmost care for themselves,” he said.
He also urged the authorities to keep an eye on the pagodas and the crowds and flow of traffic near them in order to prevent any accidental or inadvertant large gatherings during Pchum Ben ceremonies.
On October 3, the government issue a circular on the control of the spread of the disease during the festival.
The circular states that once Pchum Ben is over, the government encourages the ministries and private sector employers – such as garment factories and educational institutions – to administer rapid tests to their employees as a condition of re-entry to the workplace so they can keep a tight lid on Covid-19 spread post-holidays and through year’s end.