On Thursday, April 9, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced additional domestic restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Effective at 00:00 (local time) on Friday, April 10, through Thursday, April 16, all travel between districts and across provincial borders will be banned. Additionally, entry and exit into Phnom Penh will be prohibited, though people in the capital will be permitted to move freely. The order exempts military personnel, government officials, emergency services, waste management employees, and those transporting food. The ban comes ahead of the Khmer New Year celebrations, which have since been canceled.
On Wednesday, April 8, the government announced that all individuals entering the country, including migrant workers, will be quarantined for 14 days in designated facilities to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the country. Authorities have advised migrant workers to remain in Thailand after 66 imported COVID-19 cases had reportedly gone on to infect Cambodians.
Visa exemption policies and the issuance of tourist visas, including e-visas and visas on arrival, have been suspended for all foreign nationals until further notice to curb the spread of COVID-19. Foreigners will need to obtain a visa from Cambodian missions abroad before traveling to the country. Applicants must provide a medical certificate issued by a competent health authority from their country no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel to certify that they have not tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the individual will need to submit proof that their insurance policy has a minimum medical coverage of no less than USD 50,000 throughout the duration of their intended stay in Cambodia. These requirements do not apply to foreigners holding a diplomatic visa (Visa A) or official visa (Visa B). All travelers will be subject to a health screening and risk assessment upon arrival.
Meanwhile, all of Cambodia's land borders with Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam remain closed. Schools, museums, karaoke clubs, and cinemas are also closed to prevent further spread of the virus.
As of Thursday, April 9, there have been 119 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cambodia. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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