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Migrant workers to isolate themselves

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Migrant workers prepare for 14 days self-quarantine in Banteay Meanchey province. Supplied

Migrant workers returning from Thailand are being told by the authorities to isolate themselves for 14 days in a bid to prevent a spread of COVID-19.

Some 40,000 migrant workers returned to the Kingdom following the closure of the Thai-Cambodian border, said Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

Mr Kheng said Banteay Meanchey province saw the highest number of returnees with 9,296 migrants, followed by Battambang province’s 7,694, Siem Reap province’s 5,255 and Tboung Khmum province’s 1,393.

He said that as the virus spreads in a village, the authorities there can implement lockdown measures.

Cambodia currently has recorded 103 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday.

Dara Sonang, a migrant who returned to Takeo province on March 22, said he worked in Thailand for five years and only went home because of the virus spread there.

“I have been home alone for one week. I have not met my wife and daughter – I miss them so much, but this isolation is for the safety of my family,” Mr Sonang said.

He adding that  “My wife brings me food, but she has to stay two metres away. I keep in touch with my wife and daughter through Facebook Messenger.”

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour
previously said returning migrant workers should take precaution when meeting with family members.

“I encourage all migrant workers returning from abroad to not kiss, touch hands or eat together after meeting,” Mr Sour said. “Stay away at a distance of one metre. Do this together so your homes and workplaces are safe.”

Chheng Ouy, chief of Kulean Cheung commune in Preah Vihear province’s Kulean district, said health officials have come to his area to educate migrants on the importance of self-isolation in the fight against COVID-19.

“Some of them built small cottages nearby in their rice fields as temporary places to self-isolate,” Mr Ouy said. “It is a good way to ensure the safety of family members.”

Mr Sonang, the migrant who returned to the Kingdom two weeks ago, said returning workers must avoid contact with family members to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“I can do this for 14 days, so I appeal to other migrant workers to self-isolate,” he said. “Do not come near family members or other people.”

“If you feel sick, please get your health checked at a hospital,” Mr Sonang said.

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