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Rush to leave capital before lockdown

Rush to leave capital before lockdown

Motorists in Phnom Penh were found making their way across the border to Kandal province’s various districts to beat the 12am deadline when travel restrictions imposed by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19 comes into force.

Facebook pictures showed congestion on Monivong bridge along National Road 1 which connects Chamkarmon district to Chbar Ampov district.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed that the citizens were trying to get out of town but he could not say for certain if they were attempting to make it before the borders shut.

Over at Prek Pnov Bridge on National Road 5, Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said: “Some groups of people said we locked down Phnom Penh. We didn’t but we banned people from travelling to meet in large numbers. This is in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

“Now the situation is controllable, that is why the prime minister issues many measures in order to stop the spread. After receiving the order, the Ministry of Interior called Phnom Penh and Kandal provincial authorities for a meeting. We were told to ban all transportations.

“We can say in general that our Cambodian compatriots are still obeying our appeal and order. We are a small country but we have good order.”

An executive order signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen instructed a lockdown of all district and provincial borders from midnight on Thursday to midnight on April 16.

The decision to close the district and provincial borders was made to halt the movement of people who may unknowingly be infected with Covid-19 but stubbornly insist on travelling to their hometowns despite the Khmer New Year holidays being cancelled for the same reasons.

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