- January 20, 2021 2:21 AM
- November 11, 2021 1:07 PM
- October 6, 2021 12:44 PM
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include the locations of Red Zones in Phnom Penh where residents in certain areas can no longer leave their homes except for COVID-19 testing or vaccination.
PHNOM PENH--Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 19 issued new restrictions for the lockdown in Phnom Penh and Takhmao City which has included the closure of all markets and stores at high risk of spreading COVID-19.
The new orders for the lockdown, which are to update the orders issued on April 15, remain unclear but the government is now planning to establish Red Zones where people won’t be able to leave their home unless it is for medical emergencies, a second vaccination dose or COVID-19 testing.
Hun Sen has said the Ministry of Commerce will facilitate the supply, transportation and distribution of food and other essentials which will then be sold to those living in Red Zones.
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng on April 19 issued a decision to designate areas in Khan Meanchey, Khan Pou Senchey and Khan Toul Kork as Red Zones due to the high number of cases associated with these areas.
According to City Hall, newly established Red Zones include Sangkat Stung Meanchey I, II, III in Khan Meanchey, Sangkat Chom Chao I, Khan Por Senchey, and village 14, 16,17 in Sangkat Boeung Salang, Khan Toul Kork.
Individuals are prohibited from leaving their residence, including for exercise or sporting activities outside.
As reported earlier, travel to or from Red Zones is forbidden except for COVID-19 testing or vaccination against COVID-19 and must be done so with the permission of local authorities.
All business activities, including markets and groceries, are also forbidden.
Only those working as firefighters, electricity or water supply service workers and emergency services are permitted to work within the Red Zones, along with both public and private health workers—including pharmacists.
Additional exemptions apply to those providing noodles, cooking gas, government-delivered food and medicines, as well as garbage collection.
City Hall warned that those who violate the preventative measures will be met with legal action in accordance with relevant COVID-19 laws.
.Low income families within Red Zones will be identified by local authorities who will distribute emergency supplies—rice, noodles, canned fish, fish sauce and soy sauce—for free. It is unclear whether an ID Poor card will be needed for families to be eligible or whether local authorities will be able to choose who receives the emergency supplies.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health announced on April 19 that 624 new COVID-19 cases related to the recent community outbreak have been identified and that two more patients died due to the disease.
The two deaths were both Cambodian men, one aged 55, the other aged 49 and both were Phnom Penh residents. The 55-year-old died on April 18 before he could reach a hospital, while the 49-year-old passed away the same day at Chak Angre Health Center. Both deaths have been officially listed as COVID-19 deaths, bringing the official death toll to 45.
Furthermore, authorities said that 1,982 people are still waiting for hospital beds as facilities are becoming overwhelmed by the severity of this latest outbreak.
The Health Ministry said that among the new cases, 465 were found in Phnom Penh, 144 in Preah Sihanouk Province, 10 in Takeo Province and three in Svay Rieng Province.
Both Kampong Cham and Pursat provinces reported one new case in each.
In the meantime, 48 patients have recovered from the coronavirus and been discharged from hospital.
The total number of COVID-19 cases recorded now stands at 7,013—but 6,470 of these cases are related to the Feb. 20 outbreak. Of the total, 4,439 are active while 2,524 people have since recovered.