Covid-19 improves hygiene practises

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) -  Prime Minister Hun Sen reminded people to not be scared of the coronavirus but to take it as an incentive to practice good hygiene habits.

Prime Minister Hun Sen told the people and officials to change their perspective of Covid-19 and instead consider the positive impact it has had in boosting good hygiene practises to prevent a range of diseases, not just the deadly novel coronavirus.

Speaking to more than 3,000 students during a graduation ceremony at Vanda Institute on Tuesday, Hun Sen reminded people to not be scared of the coronavirus but to take it as an incentive to practice good hygiene habits.

He also said people should fear traffic accidents more than the disease, and if they applied the fear of the coronavirus to traffic accidents, there would be fewer deaths on the Kingdom’s roads.

“Cambodians do not fear traffic accidents like they fear Covid-19. You should be fearful of traffic accidents, then the number of deaths will decrease in this country. But instead, you are so scared of something unreasonable that you stock-up on rice. You are too fearful,” he said.

He told the authorities to urge the people to practice good hygiene habits. He said this should start with the individual, and then spread to families, villages, and communes, to transform Cambodia into a “clean country”.

“If we are unhygienic, it doesn’t matter if it is Covid-19 or other diseases like flu or diarrhoea. You will still get sick. I think we need to think positively and turn this crisis into an opportunity.

“We need to change our fear and concern for Covid-19 into an opportunity to educate people and strengthen our hygiene practises,” Hun Sen said.

He called on the people to come together to stop the spread of the coronavirus and expressed his belief that Covid-19 would not spread to hundreds of people like in some countries.

He said tourism services and schools in Siem Reap will resume operations as soon as all people who were in direct and indirect contact with the Japanese and Cambodian men confirmed to be Covid-19 positive have been identified and found.

People, Hun Sen said, should join in the effort to stop the coronavirus spreading by getting their samples tested if they have symptoms similar those of Covid-19.

“If you keep hiding, it won’t help. You should be brave and come forward if you suspect you have been infected,” he said.

The prime minister also told Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng to look at those in charge of the 115 emergency hotline. He said he had received feedback that the officials in charge did not effectively
respond to the people’s enquires.

Hun Sen said he had already prepared an $800 million safety blanket to protect the economy against the impact of Covid-19 for the first six months. He said should the impact drag on up to 12 months, the spending would rise to $2 billion.

With regard to the confirmed case in Siem Reap province, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Tuesday that 186 people were found to have had direct and indirect contact with the 40-year-old Japanese and 38-year-old Cambodian men found positive for Covid-19.

Out of these, she said only five people had a high risk of infection.

Siem Reap provincial referral hospital head Kros Sarath declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Post. However, he told Fresh News that 20 doctors and health staff were on standby to look after the Cambodian victim.

Meantime, Phnom Penh city governor Khuong Sreng on Monday received 100,000 masks from a Chinese company for distribution. He said people in the capital should trust the government in dealing with the coronavirus.

“To deal with this, we have to come together and not fear or isolate ourselves if we are free from the disease,” he said.

Phnom Penh City Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey said no decision has been made as to when and where to distribute the masks. “But we will surely use them effectively and efficiently,” he said.

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