Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) has called for licensed private electricity distributors to receive cashless payments for electricity bills to prevent possible COVID-19 infections.
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It is believed the virus can potentially be transmitted by paper notes. Experts say it can survive on notes for several days.
The EAC said in a statement: “In aiming to prevent and stop COVID-19 through containment, the Electricity Authority of Cambodia is asking all licensed private electricity distributors to establish the option of payment methods of electricity bills via e-payment.”
Infection cases of COVID-19 in Cambodia rose above 90 as of Wednesday.
Currently, licensed private electricity distributors are providing power to more than 300 locations nationwide.
Both Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC) and licensed private electricity distributors provide power to 13,131 villages. A total of 14,168 villages nationwide have access to electricity, some through collective generators.
Those who pay electricity bills to EDC can pay both with cash and using e-payments via partnered money-transfer firms.
A grocery store owner in Prek Ho Village, Kandal province, who is currently using power supplied by a licensed private electricity distributer, welcomed the move, saying that it is easy for payment, saving time and avoiding possible viral infection.
“It would be better if payment on electricity bills is made via e-payment. Because of the outbreak of COVID-19, people are afraid of going outside, to the market, so, e-payments for electricity bills will help,” 45-year-old Thoe Sreypov said.
Thoe said currently her family has to go to pay at the office of private power distributor LMK Co.