As of December 2, there had been more than 640 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with over 6.6 million deaths, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said, citing the World Health Organisation (WHO). In light of this, he renewed call for all people to maintain vigilance against the virus.

In a December 5 reminder, Bun Heng urged people to adhere to health measures to prevent Covid-19 transmission, especially during the upcoming Christmas and international New Year holidays, as many people are expected to travel during this time.

“WHO declared that Covid-19 was responsible for 6,618,579 deaths as of December 2. While we can all be proud of the way the Kingdom has managed its response and been able to reopen under the new normal, we must not let our guard down,” he said.

“Covid-19 virus is an invisible enemy. We cannot see it with the naked eye, but we know it is always nearby. In order to continue to run the country safely and happily, please continue to participate in preventing transmissions in your families and communities by adhering to prevention measures, especially the three dos and don’ts,” he added.

Three dos are mask wearing, frequent hand washing and social distancing. The three don’ts are to avoid crowded places, enclosed places and close contact with people, such as handshakes or hugs.

He also encouraged the implementation of rapid testing for suspected cases, as this could help people to isolate themselves and avoid large-scale transmission in the community.

“If you are travelling these holidays, please be mindful of the risk of transmission. Ideally, small groups should travel together. Bring along alcohol or gel for hand sanitation and wash your hands often with soap and water,” he said.

The minister also advised people on how to avoid food poisoning. They should follow food safety measures and ensure food – especially meat, eggs and seafood – was clean and thoroughly cooked.

“When you buy ready-made food from the market or on the street, make sure it is safe. It should be kept at a safe temperature (colder than 5 degrees Celsius or hotter than 60 degrees Celsius), or cooked and eaten one time,” he added.

According to the health ministry, Cambodia had recorded a total of 138,176 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since its onset, with 135,035 recoveries and 3,056 deaths.