Cambodia closes public venues amid rising community Covid-19 cases

Bangkok Desk, Nov 30 (efe-epa).- The Cambodian authorities on Monday ordered the closure of many entertainment venues and schools, and banned mass gatherings after detecting the first community case of COVID-19 at the weekend.

The government announced the raft of measures, which came into force Monday, after the locally transmitted case was detected on Saturday in Phnom Penh and which has since led to the discovery of another 13 related infections, reported the state news agency Agence Kampuchea Press (AKP).

All museums, cinemas and theaters across the country will be shut for two weeks from Monday, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said. It is unclear whether bars and nightclubs are included in public venue closures.

Public schools on Monday were shut down for the academic year and will be closed until Jan. 11, while private and vocational schools will be closed for two weeks, the authorities said.

Lower secondary school and high school exams will take place as scheduled on Nov. 30 and on Dec. 21, according to AKP.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also announced on Monday a ban on all mass gatherings, such as weddings or meetings, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province for 15 days, AKP said, adding gatherings of fewer than 20 people may be held under strict preventive measures.

This first case of local transmission is reported to be the wife of a senior official of the Ministry of the Interior and the cases related to that include five women, two men and a minor who have been admitted to a hospital in the capital.

The authorities have taken samples from 3,332 people who have been in contact with the community case through contact tracing carried out in Phnom Penh and in several provinces such as Siem Reap, Mondulkiri and Banteay Meanchey. Of those samples, 2,248 have been tested, with 14 positive results.

With 323 COVID19 cases and no deaths, Cambodia has managed to keep the spread of the virus under control, although its industries, mainly textiles, and the tourism sector have suffered severely due to the drop in exports and the absence of foreign traveler arrivals. EFE-EPA


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