Prime Minister Hun Sen today rescinded a ban on cremation ceremonies and said health officials no longer needed to test the dead for Covid-19.

The new rule allowed families to hold traditional Buddhist funerals, which were restricted earlier this year to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

The prime minister suggested over-testing was needlessly inflating case numbers and preventing a full reopening of the economy. Covid-19 was not the primary cause for many deaths, he said, yet they added to the national tally.

“It is necessary to distinguish between those who died due to Covid-19 and those who died due to other causes,” he said.

The Kingdom on Friday announced 11 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the nation’s total to 2,715. It has recorded 98,027 cases to date.