The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding.
According to a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on April 14, the lockdown also covers Takmao – the Kandal provincial town – which he said was interconnected.
During the lockdown, residents are not allowed to leave their homes except when shopping for food and other necessities, in which case only two family members are permitted and at no more than three times per week.
Exemption is also granted to those who need to commute to work or go about their business as long as they have a permit from employers or the relevant authorities.
Residents are allowed to leave their area for medical reasons or other emergencies, in which case no more than four persons is permitted.
Also exempted are diplomats, staff members of embassies, missions, foreign NGOs, organisations under the UN umbrella and international finance institutions.
People can still leave their area to show up for sample collection for Covid-19 testing and for vaccination against the disease.
Those whose professions are determined as serving public interests such as journalists can also travel while performing their duties with a letter from their employers clarifying as such and as permitted by the authorities.
Individuals can still do sport activities or exercise outside their residence with no more than two persons allowed.
Travelling to and from airports for scheduled flights is permissable as long as health measures are strictly followed.
Essential businesses such as banks, pharmacies, food-processing enterprises, slaughterhouses, supermarkets, marts, restaurants and gas stations, among others, are also allowed to operate so far as Covid-19 preventive measures are observed. Businesses that provide services or products online are also exempted.
Gatherings are prohibited except among family members in the same home, funeral rites as permitted by the authorities and sample collections for Covid-19 testing by health workers.
The lockdown came just a day after the Phnom Penh municipality extended the capital's nighttime curfew for another two weeks through April 28 in a bid to contain the outbreak, which has seen a number of public and privately-owned markets temporarily shut.
On April 14 alone, the Ministry of Health reported the country's 36th Covid-19 fatality and 177 new infections linked to the February 20 community outbreak, bringing the Kingdom's third cluster tally to a whopping 4,337 cases in less than two months.
As of April 14, Cambodia had recorded a total of 4,874 Covid-19 cases with 2,544 receiving ongoing treatment and 36 confirmed deaths. The deceased patients include one Korean, one French and two Chinese nationals, with the rest being Cambodian.