Cambodia calls off water festival in October

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Cambodia calls off water festival in October

The government has approved the cancellation of the 2020 Water Festival. (Khmer Times photo)

PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian government has said it will cancel the three-day Water Festival scheduled to take place in late October in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A letter dated Aug 11 and obtained by the Khmer Times on Thursday said: “The government has approved the cancellation of the 2020 Water Festival.”

Ek Tha, spokesman for the office of the Council of Ministers, said on Thursday the government has good reason to suspend the festival as authorities have been concerned over how they would implement virus transmission prevention measures at the event.

“At Cambodia’s Water Festival, tens of thousands of people gather to enjoy the traditional event around the river fronts of Tonle Sap and the four arms of the Mekong,” he said.

Tha said that in the current climate, it is not appropriate to hold the event, especially one which will draw such large crowds.

“Although we do not have community transmission in the country, we don’t want to take the risk,” he said.

The water festival is due to be held between Oct 30 and Nov 1.

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