Cambodian capital region goes into 2-week lockdown

Bangkok, Apr 15 (EFE).- Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and a nearby town entered into a two-week lockdown Thursday to curb a rapidly spreading Covid-19 wave after Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the country was “on the brink of a tragedy.”

The prime minister announced the confinement measure in a televised speech and said it was “to combat and prevent larger spread of Covid-19 pandemic into community.”

According to the national news agency KPA, Hun Sen ordered all businesses to close down temporarily in Phnom Penh and Takhmao town of Kandal province that borders the capital and is the epicenter of the new outbreak.

Food, medicine, and other daily necessities-related businesses and key supply services like firefighting, electricity, clean water garbage collection, and emergency services would function normally.

The government also banned the movement of people except when they leave their homes to buy food and medicines.

Cambodia suffers a rebound of infections with an overall caseload of more than 5,000, including 36 deaths.

The tally jumped to 5,218 with the detection of 344 new cases on Thursday, according to the health ministry.

The government began tightening measures on Feb.20 when it closed schools, cinemas, bars, and other entertainment places in the capital.

But that did not happen to stop the outbreak, especially since the fast-spreading British variant of the virus has entered the country.

According to the health ministry, the source of the new outbreak was a foreign citizen who escaped from a hotel where he was quarantined in early February.

The country first detected three cases of the more contagious variant on Feb.23, when 23 infections were recorded among locals.

Until then, the last local infection was recorded in November.

The new outbreak is a setback for the country, which had recorded a total of 593 cases and no deaths last year, and where life continued near normally.

Cambodia has also widened its vaccination drive and is targeting one million doses a month from Apr.1.

About 400,000 people received their shots by the end of March. EFE


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