Authorities detail 40,000 migrants, toll reaches 98

The Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed two more cases of coronavirus infections, raising the total to 98.

In Siem Reap province, two Indonesian aged 41 and 49 are being treated at the provincial hospital after their transfer from one in Thailand as they could not afford to pay for treatment there.

In a separate case in the province, health officials have located 340 people who came into direct contact with the more than 30 French tourists who tested positive for Covid-19 in Sihanoukville. The 360 have been under strict quarantine for 14 days.

In Phnom Penh, a 34-year-old Swedish man tested positive after requesting a medical certificate at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for his international flight. But the ministry said the man had flown to Thailand before the test results were confirmed as positive.

In Koh Kong province, a 57-year-old man from Kampot province who contracted Covid-19 has been discharged from hospital after treatment.

Of the 98 Covid-19 patients recorded in Cambodia, 11, including eight Cambodians, a Chinese and a British have been certified clinically recovered.

Meanwhile, in his Facebook post on Thursday, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said from Sunday to Thursday, local authorities in the Kingdom’s provinces had recorded the details of over 40,000 migrant workers who returned from Thailand.

And speaking at the Poipet International Border Checkpoint police station in Banteay Meanchey province, he said of the number, more than 9,200 were recorded there, while 7,600 were recorded in Battambang, and more than 1,100 in Kampong Cham.

He said over 1,800 were recorded in Kampong Thom, while Kampot had 500 and Kandal 1,000. More than 2,000 were recorded in Prey Veng, over 800 in Pursat, more than 5,000 in Siem Reap, more than 800 in Takeo, over 1,800 in Oddar Meanchey and above 1,300 in Tbong Khmum.

Sar Kheng also said 24 migrant workers were being quarantined in Preah Sihanouk province. The mass exodus of workers from Thailand came after it announced the closure of its borders with Cambodia to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok informed Cambodians who stayed and worked there that Thailand had declared a state of emergency in the country effective from March 26 to April 30, and that people were prohibited from crossing the Cambodian-Thai border.

The Thai Ministry of Labour has also informed the embassy that Cambodians with expired visas and work permits can remain in the country until June 30 without being fined.

The Cambodian Embassy told its nationals to contact hospitals in the cities and provinces in Thailand by March 31 if they felt ill.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the Kingdom could declare a state of emergency if it cannot bring Covid-19 under control and cases continued to rise.

Confirming this, the vice-president of the Council of Lawyers at the Council of Ministers, Ky Tech, said briefly on Thursday that it was studying the Constitution in this regard.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said the Constitution stipulates that when the nation faces danger, the King shall make a proclamation to the people putting the country in a state of emergency.

Such a proclamation will come upon being advised by the prime minister in consultation with the president of the National Assembly and president of the Senate. The King could issue a royal decree immediately at the request of the prime minster with conditions attached.

“Putting the Kingdom in a state of emergency requires a royal decree which sets out some conditions and principles of that declaration.

“Article 22 points out the rights and executive powers of state bodies to set conditions. [The executive body] puts the country in a state of emergency for some time, declaring some areas or the whole country in a state of emergency definitely or indefinitely until the situation is better.

“[The King] can define formalities, the authority of the government, the obligation of the state and some other measures,” he said.

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