|A Cambodian army member vaccinates a person inside a red zone with strict lockdown measures, amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 1, 2021. (File photo by=Reuters/Cindy Liu)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] PHNOM PENH: Oon Thursday (Jul 29), Cambodia imposed new coronavirus regulations for eight provinces bordering Thailand, to restrict the movement of millions of residents to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. The provinces affected are Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, and Siem Reap.
Lately for weeks, scores of Cambodian migrant workers have returned home from Thailand, which is battling a Delta-fuelled COVID-19 wave. Cambodian health authorities raised the alarm this week, citing 39 new Delta cases - 21 in migrant workers returning from Thailand and the rest in contacts. Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an order late on Wednesday for the lockdown, which bans people from leaving their homes, gathering in groups, and conducting business, except for those involved in operating airlines. Border checkpoints with Thailand will also be closed except to allow for the transport of goods and in emergencies, Hun Sen said, adding the lockdown was due to run until Aug 12.
Meanwhile, authorities in the capital Phnom Penh also on Thursday imposed a nighttime curfew for two weeks, restricting residents from leaving their homes between 9 am and 3 am. Cambodia managed to largely contain the virus for most of last year, but an outbreak first detected in late February has driven up total cases to 75,152, with 1,339 deaths.