Residents from Kbal Romeas Chas village in Kbal Romeas commune, in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district, briefly detained and fined three people for entering their village after it was declared off-limits to outsiders to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Kbal Romeas commune chief Roeung Sambath said on Monday that the closure is also a tradition of the commune’s seven villages, which have been taking turns to ban outsiders for between three and six days from March to April.
“Kbal Romeas Chas villagers fined the three outsiders between 300,000 riel and 400,000 riel ($75 and $100) each after they insisted on entering the village. They are plumbers hired by a company in the community,” he said.
A community representative, Yao Song, said villagers in Krabei Chrum and Kbal Romeas are mostly from the Lao and Bunong ethnic minorities. In Krabei Chrum village, she said the closure started from March 29 and will end on April 6.
She said a village would also be closed to outsiders if more than two people died within a month.
“In our tradition, if three people died in one month, we would hold a ceremony to pray to the soul of our ancestors. And if there was an epidemic, we would ban outsiders from entering,” she said.
Last month, she said three villagers died from illness, though it was not related to Covid-19.