Cambodia PM bans mass gatherings to fight corona

2 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen banned wedding parties and gatherings of more than 20 people on Monday, as authorities moved quickly to try to thwart a coronavirus outbreak after announcing rare cases of community transmission, reports Reuters.

Fifteen people have so far tested positive from 3,332 tested since Sunday, the health ministry said, all linked to a 56-year-old woman who had travelled to the country’s two biggest cities since Nov. 20.

Cambodia is among the countries least impacted by the coronavirus, with just 323 cases so far and no deaths reported. Most of those cases were imported.

It was unclear how the woman, the wife of the country’s prisons chief, had become infected. Her husband and several family members also tested positive.

In a voice recording posted on his Facebook page, Hun Sen urged the public not to panic and said the ban on gatherings was a response to recommendations of experts and the World Health Organization.

“Suspend all gatherings of many people for 15 days, starting from today,” Hun Sen said.

“And if there is a marriage, please apologise and suspend the marriage for 15 days,” he said.

“If we don’t do this, it will be late for us ... so please implement these urgently.”

Hun Sen had earlier closed private schools and shut down parts of the prisons department at the interior ministry, where positive cases have been found.