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3 Jun 2021

Khy Sovuthy, CamboJA

Cambodia: More new positive cases for COVID-19 are found among workers; unions demand more preventive measures from govt.

"Most new COVID-19 infections found among factory workers", 3 June 2021

Across Cambodia, officials said that most new cases of COVID-19 have been found among garment workers, underscoring the poor living and working conditions faced by Cambodia’s factory workers.

… Infections are high “in districts on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and it is complicated by living [conditions],” said deputy Phnom Penh governor Keut Chhe.

Chhe noted that many workers share housing, with four or five people living in a small rental room, and that they travel to and from factories on crowded trucks. He urged workers to stay home and quarantine if they fall ill…

Ou Sokhoeun, director of Svay Rieng provincial labor department said that among the 921 recorded cases, more than 400 of them are factory workers. In total, more than 3,000 factory workers who have come into contact with infected individuals have had to quarantine.

“The reason for infection is because they are in one place together where it is difficult to keep social distancing. They travel together, work together and eat together,” Sokhoeun said. “Most of the infected people are factory workers and casino staff.”

… But Mann Seng Hak, vice president of the Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said these measures will continue to fall short as long as workers have to take overcrowded vehicles and live in cramped homes.

“If the authorities still do not have specific measures for them, they will face high risk of COVID-19 infection. I am very concerned about this issue” Seng Hak said…