Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges. Global governance has failed to protect humanity. The world seems to be falling apart. Some countries like to put the blame on or finger point at others.
A blame game at this time is really counterproductive. Unfortunately, racism is on the rise. Calling the COVID-19 “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese virus” is not socially and professionally correct.
Slow in taking actions and irresponsible leadership have been causing more havoc to humanity. Human lives have been lost and continue to lose more with the passage of time.
Please forget about selfish national interest and geopolitics. It is time for us to work together to resolve such systemic global crisis. It is a global people’s war against the COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been working round the clock to help countries to contain and mitigate the unprecedented global health crisis. This week, the Director General of WHO introduced six key actions.
First, expand, train and deploy health care and public health workforce. Second, implement a system to find every suspected case at community level. Third, ramp up the production, capacity and availability of testing. Fourth, identify, adapt and equip facilities you will use to treat and isolate patients. Fifth, develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts. And sixth, refocus the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19.
Also this week Prime Minister Hun Sen has introduce a comprehensive measure in responding to the pandemic outbreak in the Kingdom such as preparing healthcare workforces and medical supplies, arranging facilities by using hotels or schools at the provincial level, training and deploying volunteer healthcare workers, mobilising financial resources from the private sector and individuals and bosting public awareness campaigns on personal and community hygiene and testing those feeling unwell.
We have witnessed that government officials have taken precautions by wearing masks and keeping physical distances at meetings and gatherings. Now the local government officials have taken steps to educate their community on how to stay safe in the face of the pandemic outbreak.
To strike a balance between public health security and economic security has been a challenge. The Cambodian government has carefully crafted an anti-pandemic policy in ways to reduce its impacts on the economy.
However, Cambodia is willing to sacrifice short-term economic and social costs in order to win the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is considering a contingency plan which is to declare a “state of emergency” under Article 22 of the Constitution, which stipulates: “When the nation faces danger, the King, with the joint approval of the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate, shall make a proclamation to the people putting the country into a state of emergency.”
Moving forward, A whole of nation approach will be adopted. Everyone is part of the solutions. Cambodia will take a more comprehensive and aggressive measures in the war against COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership in crisis is required.
Prime Minister Hun Sen who has gone through uncountable leadership tests and challenges over the past four decades will lead the country to overcome this systemic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
Draconian measure and command and control type of leadership must be implemented if the situation demands so or if the pandemic infections continue to rise in Cambodia.
Cambodia alone cannot win this war. Global alliance needs to be formed. Every individual citizen needs to participate.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake up all for all of us. Khmer Times calls upon all of us to join hands in solidarity and partnership to defeat the disease together and to recover from the crisis together.
Hope and trust can move mountains. Just put our belief in humanity. Human beings historically have proven to be adaptive and innovative especially in times of crisis.
However, we need exceptional leaders who can navigate critical mass through this extraordinary time. As such, although it is counter-productive to apportion blame, the actions of the Ministry of Health, with its pre-emptive strikes, if at all there were any, were pathetic.
It failed to show leadership when it mattered most and depended largely on the Prime Minister to lead the way with firm decisions and actions. Its efforts at contact-tracing or having an effective mechanism to carry this out coherently is virtually non-existent.