The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration extended the ban on sales of alcoholic drinks in the capital for two weeks until May 8 to further prevent and contain the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19.

The municipal hall first suspended the sale of alcoholic drinks on April 10 and consumers were not allowed to eat at restaurants and drink at cafes. As a result, the order had significantly contributed to dealing with Covid in the capital, governor Khuong Sreng said in a letter dated April 25.

Sreng said that to bring the February 20 community outbreak under control, the extension is warranted.

He warned that anyone who continued to sell and distribute alcoholic drinks during this period would be punished in accordance with the law on the control of Covid-19 and other contagious diseases.

Sreng instructed the 14 district administrations and the Phnom Penh municipal Department of Commerce to inspect places that sell alcohol and check that the order was being followed. Any failure to cooperate would result in legal action without exception.

The decision to extend the ban for another two weeks came as the number of Covid infections has increased every day in Phnom Penh.

Mom Kong, executive director of the Cambodia Movement for Health, has said that alcohol advertising should be banned permanently as it encourages gatherings for drinking during Covid.

“Thanks to efforts by the government, Cambodia might get the February 20 outbreak under control. But a recurrence is possible , so alcohol advertising should be prohibited forever,” he said.

Most supermarkets and minimarts have implemented the ban, but alcoholic drinks were still sold at some shops, he said.

The Ministry of Health on April 25 reported 616 transmission cases, 546 of which were detected in Phnom Penh alone.