Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities will investigate allegations that 400 staff members at the Century Hotel and Casino in Sihanoukville were confined and forced to work although the establishment had a recent outbreak of Covid-19.

In a press statement, the provincial administration said if this was true, it would take legal action against the casino.

The investigation comes after a Facebook user with account name Doung Chan Sreypov went live along with four other colleagues on September 30 claiming that staff were confined and forced to work after an outbreak of Covid-19 in the casino.

The provincial administration has recently said it will prosecute owners of any hotels and casinos involved in confining and forcing people to work, or if they are involved in human trafficking under the cover of employment.

In the press statement in response to the allegations, it clarified that a quick reaction team from the provincial health department went to the Century casino and took samples from staff and found that many were positive for the disease.

It said authorities had since then used the casino as a quarantine and treatment centre for staff because it met the requirements. Authorities also gave the casino staff the option of receiving treatment at hospitals.

It said the Covid-19-positive casino employees had been well treated by medical personnel and given four meals per day by the casino owner.

It noted that there was one patient who was not well, vomited and was dehydrated and later died after being admitted to hospital with doctors confirming she suffered from food poisoning and dehydration.

The provincial administration rejected the accusation by Chan Sreypov who claimed that five people had tested positive and were denied treatment, though it would continue investigation.

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearom told The Post on October 2 that all of the employees were receiving ongoing treatment at the casino.

According to the staff, the casino is owned by a Chinese man. It currently employs 400 people, including Chinese nationals.