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First New Red, Orange Zones Declared in Nationwide Lockdown

Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s 2-week lockdown has begun. For the next 14 days, alcohol sales are banned, dining in at restaurants at any time of the day is prohibited and a 9pm-3am curfew is in effect. All high-risk businesses are also closed, not just in Phnom Penh, but across the entire country. The measures will run through Thursday 12 August. Municipal authorities also have the power to introduce lockdown zones, as was the case in Phnom Penh back in April and the first of the latest zones have already been declared in Siem Reap.

The first red zone of the two-week national campaign is the Kampong Khleang commune in Siem Reap’s Soutr Nikum District. Orange zones have been declared for the same district’s Kien Sangkae and Dan Run communes. In the town of Siem Reap, orange zones have been declared for Sangkat Sla Kram, Sangkat Svay Dankum, Sangkat Kouk Chak and Sangkat Sala Kamraeuk. More zones are expected to be declared in other parts of the country over the next couple of days.

The national curfew starts Friday evening at 9pm.

It’s the provinces along the border with Thailand that are the main cause for concern, with over a hundred cases of the Delta variant already having been identified in migrant workers, but Health Ministry Spokesperson, Dr. Or Vandine, says five of those provinces - Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Preah Vihear – now have community cases of the Delta variant as well. Their borders have now been closed to all but emergency services and goods transportation.

The next 14 days will be critical if Cambodia is to avoid a third wave of Covid-19, brought on by a variant that is almost 300% more transmissible than the original virus.

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