Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun ordered on April 28 that the owner of New Star Shoes Co Ltd freeze workers’ wages and other benefits and suspend a small number of workers who escaped from quarantine centres and locked down areas in the province.
The factory, located in Commune I’s village IV in Sihanoukville, had suspended operations since April 26 after some workers there tested positive for Covid-19.
In a letter to the owner, Chamroeun said: “During the temporary suspension of the New Star Shoes factory to curb the spread of Covid-19 and during testing of samples of staff … a small number of workers escaped from quarantine centres. This violates the law to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
People who had left lockdown areas would be punished, it said.
“Police in the area have to stop and impound vehicles from escapees and accomplices to hold them until the lockdown is lifted. Then, we will solve the matter according to procedure,” it stated.
Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said the factory employs 1,582 workers with 847 still working and employment contracts for 712 workers suspended while 23 had gone on maternity leave.
According to Article 22 of the control of Covid-19 and other contagious diseases, individuals who fail to follow quarantine rules are subject to fines of between 500,000 and two million riel ($125 to $500).
Those who avoid quarantine or escape from quarantine sites face fines of up to five million riel, while people who escape from quarantine are subject to imprisonment of between six months and three years and a fine of up to 10 million riel if they are found to have transmitted the virus to others.