PHNOM PENH, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's law on the control of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases was signed by Acting Head of State Samdech Say Chhum on Thursday, going into effect immediately, according to a royal decree.
Endorsed by Chhum on behalf of King Norodom Sihamoni, who has been in Beijing, capital of China, for a routine medical checkup, the royal decree said the law was promulgated after it had been adopted by the National Assembly on March 5 and the Senate on March 11.
Consisted of six chapters and 18 articles, the law aims at preventing the spread of COVID-19 as well as imposing severe penalties, including imprisonment for those who flout the preventive measures and cause disease infections in the community.
The Southeast Asian country made the law following the third community outbreak of COVID-19 on Feb. 20, which has seen cases rise to 652 with one confirmed death so far.
Under the law, quarantine escapees who lead to the spread of COVID-19 to others will be punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of 2,500 U.S. dollars.
Any COVID-19 patients fleeing treatment or a Ministry of Health-designated treatment facility will be imprisoned from one to five years and a fine of 5,000 U.S. dollars, the law said, adding that a jail term will be increased up to 10 years if the act leads to the spread of COVID-19 to others.
It said any individuals intentionally spreading the COVID-19 to others will be punishable by imprisonment from five to 10 years, and a prison sentence will be raised up to 20 years if the act is organized by a group or a syndicate.
The law also stated that the acts of deliberately disregarding administrative measures or obstructing the enforcement of the measures will be punishable by imprisonment from six months to three years.
Since the start of the pandemic in January last year until now, the kingdom has registered a total of 1,163 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with one death and 597 recoveries, the Ministry of Health said. Enditem