Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen marks anniversary of Nov reopening

Hun Sen marks anniversary of Nov reopening

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People travelling on St 371 in the capital’s Meanchey district in February, a few months after pandemic measures were eased. Hong Menea

Hun Sen marks anniversary of Nov reopening

The Kingdom’s “successful reopening” following two years of pandemic-related restrictions was the result of concerted efforts by the people and courageous decision-making by the nations’ leaders, Prime Minister Hun Sen recalled as Cambodia marked the 1st anniversary of the reopening of socio-economic activity on November 1.

While addressing a graduation ceremony for over 6,000 students from the Royal University of Law and Economics on November 1, the premier noted that the country recorded economic growth of three per cent in 2021, an excellent sign of recovery from the 3.1 per cent decline experienced in 2020.

And thanks to new financial management laws which establish a macroeconomic framework, economic growth for 2023 is projected to reach 6.6 per cent, he added.

“This follows efforts by every one of us to reopen the country. We also introduced measures to allow the reopening of all schools and educational facilities, while protecting the safety of all staff and students,” he said.

Hun Sen said the steps taken by the government in 2020 and 2021 were necessary to save people’s lives. Without the protection afforded by the restrictions, many people could have died from the contagious disease.

His decision to reopen the country was based on four factors: vaccinations, treatment, containment and people’s compliance with preventative measures.

The government lifted mask mandates on April 26 this year, with the decision about when to mask up now being up to each member of the public.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said he supported the government’s decision to impose measures to control Covid-19 before reopening.

He added that the successful reopening restored the Kingdom’s socio-economic activity, and demonstrates that the timing was correct.

“What enabled the government to reopen the country was the remarkable success of its vaccination campaign. We are now enjoying a normalcy that many countries are still not experiencing,” he said.

Regardless, Hun Sen has renewed his call for the public to continue protecting themselves against Covid-19 and other contagious diseases.

“Although infections have declined, it’s not over yet. We have not yet won the war on Covid, just a major battle. It is also important to remember that there are other diseases out there, like monkeypox and ebola. Just because our progress up to this point has been successful, we must not let our guard down,” he said.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, likened November 1 to the salvation of many Cambodian lives, akin to the January 7, 1979 liberation of the Kingdom from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.

Vandine appealed to the public to remain vigilant and make sure their Covid-19 vaccinations are as up to date as possible, be it a third, fourth or fifth, saying this is important to ensure the sustainability of the life under the new normal.

She warned that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is still continuing to mutate, with 35 countries now reporting the presence of the XBB sub-variant. The presence of the Omicron BQ1 sub-variant has been confirmed in 65 nations so far, she noted.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of