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Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

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Authorities set up roadblock to check on people travelling to Preah Sihanouk province. Facebook

Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods.

The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not be allowed into the province.

The provincial administration on March 4 said there were people infected with Covid-19 living and working in the province as a result of the February 20 community transmission.

The ban is to allow authorities to control people infected with the novel coronavirus and others who may have been exposed.

A quarantine centre has yet to be established.

Hun Sen said in a voice message on the night of March 3 that provincial authorities are reviewing emergency action plans due to the increasing number of people infected with the virus.

He said: “The plan is to stop traffic from Preah Sihanouk province entering other provinces; trying to reduce the number of people travelling to prevent the spread to other provinces. Therefore, people are asked to stay at home.”

Hun Sen added that the second plan was to vaccinate people under 59 with the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine and for people from the age of 60 with AstraZeneca. The Ministry of Health has already transported both vaccines to the province on March 4.

Hun Sen spoke at a press conference at Calmette Hospital on March 4, calling on the people in the province to stay indoors and not to travel unless necessary.

“We cannot close Preah Sihanouk province because it is a transport hub, but we need to be careful. I call on people not to travel to the province. And people in the province, don’t travel to other places, because it could transmit the virus along National Road 4 to Kep and Kampot province. Please remain where you are,” he said.

Hun Sen added that in Phnom Penh, although the situation is under control, people should still stay indoors if there is no reason to go out. The number of people in treatment jumped to more than 400 in a short period following the recent community outbreak.

“This disease is highly contagious and requires people to be careful, so that authorities are able to control and then stop the outbreak. We don’t want a nationwide-wide shutdown, but call on the people in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Preah Sihanouk provinces to avoid travel,” he said.

The prime minister said it remained to be seen whether the February 20 community event would end before the Khmer New Year in April, voicing concern over the throngs of migrant workers who will return home from Thailand over the holiday.

From December, around 40,000 migrant workers have crossed into Cambodia from Thailand, with 15,000 still in quarantine.

According to the Ministry of Health, as of March 4, Cambodia recorded 909 Covid-19 patients, 484 had been treated and 425 are hospitalised.

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