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This is a time to work together, he said.
Kem Sokha Friday called on all Cambodians to fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and not to use disinformation or exaggerate the situation for political gain.
"I think that, in these circumstances, as we are Cambodians, we should stand together to prevent the two problems—the disease and country's economic situation—that affect our country and people,” the former opposition leader wrote Friday on his Facebook page. “Setting aside politics, don't use this problem for political gain or to fight each other without morality."
Sokha’s appeal was made following messages that have circulated on social media featuring indistinct photos of people described as having contracted COVID-19. The Cambodian authorities have described these photos and messages as fake news.
In his message, Sokha also encouraged Cambodia’s healthcare authorities and medical staff to continue their work to protect the country’s people. "I would like to call on all Cambodians: Please take care of yourselves with proper hygiene. Protect yourselves to block this disease," he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen recently announced cuts of up to 50 percent in ministerial budgets so that this money can be diverted to deal with COVID-19, adding that fighting this epidemic is now the government’s top priority.
Hun Sen said that this measure will make some $400 million available to deal with any challenge that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.
He also went as far as labelling those who post and share disinformation about the virus as “terrorists.”