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10 Mai 2021

Khy Sovuthy, CamboJA

Cambodia: Authorities detain workers and drivers for violating travel bans in lockdown areas after community transmissions of COVID-19

"Drivers and garment workers detained for trying to leave red zones", 10 May 2021

More than 40 taxi drivers and over a hundred passengers, most of them garment workers, have been detained while trying to leave restricted red zones …, Choam Chao 1 commune police chief Say Chamroeun said .... They are now quarantined for 14 days at Kork Banhchoan Primary School in Pur Senchey district.

Sim Chet Oudom, 29, a worker at Din Han factory who lives in Kork Chambok village in Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao 1 commune, said that he knew of many garment workers who had tried to leave Phnom Penh as a result of the harsh conditions in the red zones.

“The reason that they went home was because they did not have enough food to eat,” he said. “In particular they don’t have money to buy meat, fish and vegetables, or money to pay rent, electricity and water.” Mr Oudom added that he himself did not have enough money to pay the rent for his room, or his utilities.

“In my area, we walked to find shells and cut morning glory near our rental rooms to cook for eating,” said Mr Chet Oudom. “Now the morning glory can’t grow fast enough for us, and we don’t have money to buy other vegetables.”

The garment worker added that they had received a one-time food package from the government, but that it had not been enough to last the month, forcing some people to leave red zones…

“I think that it is a high risk for them, but they are concerned about hunger rather than COVID-19 infection,” said Mr Chet Oudom…