Cambodia finalises draft law on putting country in state of emergency

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said yesterday that the government has finalised a draft law on putting the country in a state of emergency in response to the spread of the COVID-19.

“Now, the draft law has been already completed,” he said during a press conference on the latest measures on anti-COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

He added that he would lead a top-level meeting today to review the draft bill before forwarding to the Cabinet meeting on Friday for approval.

Hun Sen said the draft law will state a number of measures including imposing curfews, preventing mass gatherings, and locking down public areas or private locations, among others.

“I’d like to appeal to the people not to worry about this law, and I don’t want to use it, just want it in place,” he said.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen. PHOTO: XINHUA

“Only the situation is out of control, will we use this law to declare the country in a state of emergency with a certain period of time.”

The draft law would need to be adopted by the National Assembly and finally reviewed by the Senate before being submitted to the king for promulgation.

At the press conference, Hun Sen also ordered the ban of white rice and unhusked rice exports, effective April 5, to reserve them for local consumption during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Southeast Asian country has so far recorded 107 confirmed cases of the virus, according to a Ministry of Health’s statement yesterday, adding that 23 of them have recovered.

On Saturday, the kingdom decided to impose temporary entry restrictions for all foreign travellers for one month to stem the virus spread.

Earlier this month, the country also ordered the temporary closures of all schools, karaoke clubs, cinemas, and museums nationwide, as religious gatherings and concerts were prohibited.