Ahead of New Year, Phnom Penh Bans Sale of Alcohol for 14 Days

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Beer advertising in Phnom Penh. (VOD)
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Phnom Penh City Hall has told businesses to stop selling alcoholic beverages, just days before the Khmer New Year and after Cambodia recorded its single highest daily tally of Covid-19 infections on Friday.

The country has seen a surge of coronavirus cases, with more than 1,000 new cases reported on Friday and Saturday, leading the World Health Organization to warn of a potential “national tragedy.”

In a statement posted late Saturday, Phnom Penh City Hall banned restaurants, markets, stores, bars and all other shops from selling alcoholic drinks for 14 days starting Sunday.

It also banned all dine-in services at restaurants and coffee shops, though businesses can still sell food for takeaway or delivery. 

The Health Ministry on Sunday reported 157 new cases of Covid-19, with 141 of the new cases found in Phnom Penh.

The ministry also reported three deaths from Covid-19. A Cambodian man, 48, from Kandal province’s Takhmao city died Saturday at 11:55 a.m. after reporting to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in a serious condition. He had not been tested for the virus, but a test taken after his death returned positive. 

Another Cambodian man, 36, from Sambo village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkao commune, died Saturday at 1:40 p.m. of serious respiratory issues from Covid-19 after testing positive on Wednesday.

The third fatality was a Cambodian woman, 72, in Svay Rieng’s Bavet city who died at 3:30 p.m. of lung issues caused by Covid-19. The woman tested positive on April 4 and was treated at the Svay Chrum Referral Hospital in the province.

The ministry also reported 72 recoveries on Sunday, bringing total active cases to 2,052.

Phnom Penh City Hall said that 56 people who tested positive had not been found because they gave false home addresses in a Facebook post on Saturday, urging residents who knew them to urge them into treatment.

The municipality also posted the names of 402 people who tested positive in Phnom Penh on Friday, urging those who have been in contact to report for testing.

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