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27 May 2021

Khuon Narim, CamboJA

Cambodia: As numbers of positive cases for COVID-19 increase in factories; unions and WHO call for stronger preventive measures

"WHO, labor leaders urge stronger action to prevent COVID-19 in factories as more workers test positive for virus", 27 May 2021

As the World Health Organization urges action for Cambodian garment workers infected with COVID-19, union leaders are calling on the government to take stronger action to protect factory staff…

Yang Sophorn, president of Cambodian Alliance Trade Union (CATU), told CamboJA he had spoken with several other labor groups regarding new infections among workers.

“We will request the government to safeguard workers’ livelihoods, in such ways as continuing to provide salary during quarantine at homes or health centers,” she said, adding that worker quarantines have been shown to be an effective method of preventing the spread of the virus.

… Pav Sina, president of Collective Union of Movement of Workers, shared a similar view as Sophorn, urging provincial authorities to close factories for a short time period. Sina even recommended officials reconsider another lockdown.

…, hundreds of workers were captured on video escaping from factory quarantines in two Svay Rieng Special Economic Zones. In the Tai Seng SEZ, workers ran away from their bicycle factory after physicians came to their bicycle factory to test for COVID-19. About 60 workers tested positive for the virus in the factory in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city.

… Dr. Li Ailan, the WHO representative to Cambodia, said the viral outbreak is far from over in Cambodia.

“The COVID-19 situation remains serious, and I am very concerned about a high possibility of surge while relaxing measures too fast and too much,” Ailan told CamboJA. “That is why we must focus on our collective and effective COVID-19 interventions today to prevent a big surge in the future.”…