City blocks in Phnom Penh have been locked down after at least 32 people — nearly all Chinese — tested positive for Covid-19 within 10 hours of heavy partying in the Cambodian capital’s nightclubs.
Some of the patients and two security guards are also being investigated for breaching quarantine and taking bribes. The third community transmission since the pandemic emerged about a year ago prompted Prime Minister Hun Sen to impose strict measures, locking down residential areas at Diamond Island in the center of the capital and other parts while initiating nationwide tracing. “This is a new alarming point, which we have never seen before since the beginning of the outbreak in Cambodia,” Hun Sen said in a nationwide address. He said the source of this outbreak was traced to four quarantined people from the Sokha Hotel who escaped by bribing two security guards and had spent time in several apartments in the capital. Two tested positive for the virus while two security guards at the hotel were understood to be under investigation for taking bribes and allowing the four to leave the hotel.
“The bad news came in the midst of us showing good results in combating imported cases from Thailand and Vietnam,” Hun Sen said while calling on people to quarantine and isolate themselves as well as cooperate with authorities to locate people they came into contact with. One Vietnamese and one Taiwanese were believed to be among the 32 who tested positive. Cambodia had won widespread applause for containing the virus. Prior to the latest outbreak, it had just confirmed 484 cases of Covid-19 with 470 recoveries and no deaths.
It was not the first time that Chinese people, who have a heavy presence in Cambodia, have been accused of skipping quarantine.
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