At least 18 factories have suspended work in Cambodia reeling from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, affecting thousands of workers, local media reported on Wednesday.

An official in the country’s southeastern Svay Rieng province said that more than 10,000 workers at 18 factories were “suspended because of COVID-19”, daily Phnom Penh Post reported.

“There are 18 factories that have suspended work as of July 2. This has affected 10,628 workers,” said provincial Deputy Governor Ros Pharith on Tuesday.

Cambodia, a Southeast Asian state, has reported a total of 141 cases if the virus, with no deaths.

Eight of the eleven special economic zones in the province are in operation where 216 enterprises, factories, companies, banks, and microfinance institutions are located.

“There are 113 factories and enterprises that provide work to over 80,000 people,” the governor said.

The province has a population of 642,713 people.

The official said each suspended worker is receiving $40 from the government and $30 from the employer.

“If workers who lost their jobs reach poverty status, the government will also provide support money through the Poor Card issued by relevant authorities,” Pharith said.

“Through the government’s support for the poor, each family can receive between 120,000 riel and 200,000 riel [$30 to $50], depending on the family’s condition. Workers who lost a job can also farm, plant crops and raise cattle,” he added.

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