Cambodia’s Senate passes draft bill on state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – The Senate of Cambodia yesterday passed a draft law on state of emergency amid the spread of COVID-19, according to a Senate’s press statement.

Fifty-four senators, who were present during the session, unanimously approved the draft bill, the statement said.

The Senate’s approval came a week after the draft law was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly.

The draft bill will be submitted to the king for final approval.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that the draft law was made based on the Article 22 of the Constitution, and the state of emergency will be declared when the nation faces dangers such as war, foreign invasion, and public health concerns caused by pandemics.

“It aims to protect national security and public order, people’s lives and health, properties and environment,” Hun Sen said.

The draft bill stated a number of measures including the prohibition or restriction of freedom of movement, and freedom of gathering.

It also allowed the government to lock down public or private spaces in order to respond to any emergency. The draft bill was made after the country has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to the Health Ministry, Cambodia has so far recorded a total of 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 98 patients cured as of yesterday.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen. PHOTO: XINHUA