The Cambodian government has reportedly granted provincial administrations permission to restrict travel in and out of their individual provinces as the country fights a growing outbreak of COVID-19.
According to various media reports, the governments of Pailin, Kep, and Siem Reap have all announced restrictions on travelers entering or exiting their provinces, joining the popular casino province of Preah Sihanouk which shut its borders to all but essential workers last week.
The number of confirmed cases from this latest outbreak climbed above 1,000 on Thursday – more than double the entire number of cases reported in Cambodia through all of 2020. The outbreak is said to have started when four Chinese nationals bribed their way out of a quarantine hotel on 20 February and visited a series of nightclubs, with two of those Chinese nationals later testing positive for COVID-19.
Sihanoukville issued an indefinite ban on people entering or exiting on 5 March, while in Phnom Penh, operations at integrated resort NagaWorld remain suspended after 11 staff members tested positive at the start of the month.
The Khmer Times reported Thursday that a casino in the southern province of Kandal has been forced to increase security after being designated as a quarantine facility. The casino had been housing 64 COVID-positive patients as of Tuesday but that number jumped by another 22 on Wednesday, with authorities claiming people in quarantine had been moving freely between rooms.
Security guards and police have been ordered to closely monitor all guest rooms, while businesses located just outside the casino have been ordered to temporarily suspend operation to reduce the risk of the virus spreading further.
There were also some reports Thursday that Cambodia has increased restrictions on travel outside of the country.