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Gov’t committed to long-haul Covid fight, PM says in New Year’s message

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A woman goes for a stroll with her dog on a leash in front of decorations at the Royal Palace for Khmer New Year. Hean Rangsey

Gov’t committed to long-haul Covid fight, PM says in New Year’s message

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the government is committed to maintaining peace, political stability and macroeconomic stability, as well as the well-being of the people to be safe from an ongoing pandemic that is jeopardising the people’s welfare.

He made the commitment in a written message to Cambodians for the occasion of Khmer New Year which is celebrated next week.

He said Covid-19 has impacted the health and livelihoods of people in Cambodia and many other countries since 2020, even disrupting progress in the Kingdom’s national development.

“The Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as countries around the world, has been globally affected by Covid-19. The epidemic is severe and there are no signs of it diminishing,” he wrote.

“During this period, the Royal Government issued measures and controls for Covid-19, especially the November 3 and November 28, 2020 community events, and February 20 community event. The government is continuing to implement new measures to control and prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he added.

He said Cambodia has been praised by the World Health Organisation and many other countries for having responded well and timely prevented the spread of the disease.

The government continues to take the utmost care to treat Covid-19 patients appropriately by providing Covid-19 vaccines to government officials, armed forces and people at high risk of contracting the virus on a voluntary basis and free of charge, he said.

The government has put in place the “three protections and three don’ts” and laws to prevent the virus and other dangerous, contagious diseases.

Hun Sen also highlighted donations from, among others, the King, Queen Mother and government officials in the fight against Covid-19. More than $57 million has been donated for purchasing vaccines.

The donations have become a national movement to “protect the health of the people” and reflect the strong spirit of national unity and solidarity of the Cambodian people, he said.

“The government strongly believes that Cambodia will soon pass this difficult stage,” Hun Sen stressed.

Although Cambodia has been severely hit by Covid-19, industry has continued to grow. There are more than 1,864 factories, mostly garment and footwear ones, and over 43,082 small and medium-sized enterprises and cottage industries, which employ approximately 1.5 million workers.

Kin Phea, director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said Hun Sen’s comments were key priorities for the government, especially Covid-19.

“When it comes to peace and political stability, I think it is a key point as we see many countries in the region facing volatile situations such as Thailand and Myanmar,” he said.

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