The Cambodian Muslim Development Foundation announced on Wednesday, April 22, that congregating in mosques for prayers and breaking fast during the Ramadan month will be banned, in line with the government's advisory to avoid large gatherings to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Cambodian-Muslims are instructed to break their fast at home and not in public areas.
Cambodia's Senate approved a state of emergency bill due to COVID-19 on Friday, April 17. Under the law, the government will have the ability to restrict restriction people's rights, freedom of movement, gatherings, and jobs. The government can lockdown public and private spaces, as well as order quarantines and evacuations. According to the draft law, the bill will remain in effect for three months but can be extended if conditions in the country remain in the same.
Entry restrictions into the country remain in place as of Sunday, April 19. Travelers arriving from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the US, and Iran are prohibited from entering the country until further notice. 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. Land borders with Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam remain closed. 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. Foreigners will need to obtain a visa from Cambodian missions abroad before traveling to the country.
To-date, 122 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Cambodia. While the country has not reported any new cases of COVID-19 in nine consecutive days as of Wednesday, April 22, the Ministry of Health has urged the public to remain vigilant and to continue practicing social distancing and good hygiene at all times. 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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