Ananth Baliga
Traffic builds up at a roadblock outside Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey II commune on April 10, 2021. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

8,000 Active Cases, a Record Daily Increase: Another Tough Week

Phnom Penh continues to see the bulk of new cases: 2,934 were announced in the past week. And Pur Senchey and Meanchey districts remain the worst-hit areas in the capital, recording 852 and 656 new cases for the week, according to City Hall data compiled by VOD.

Traffic builds up at a roadblock at Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey II commune on April 10, 2021. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

‘February 20’ Cluster in Numbers: 7,600 and Climbing

Phnom Penh has been at the center of the recent Covid-19 outbreak, reporting more than 2,000 cases in the past week, according to Phnom Penh City Hall data. The outbreak has spread rapidly through the city’s markets and factories — leading to the country’s first lockdown and the creation of “red zones.”

Environmentalist Ouch Leng at the Kratie provincial environment department on February 6, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Ouch Leng Released as Villager Tells of Putting Banners in Forest

Five detained forestry activists, including Goldman Prize-winning Ouch Leng, were released on Monday morning after days of questioning. A local villager told of entering the Prey Lang sanctuary with the group on Friday to put up banners saying “Please preserve our forests.”

Seng Chanthorn, (second from right), holds a photo of her jailed husband, Sun Thun, while protesting with other women in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on September 25, 2020. They are calling for the release from prison of their spouses, all former CNRP officials. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

CNRP Mass Trials: The Cases and the Controversy

Six case files against 153 CNRP defendants, split into four trials, make up a web of ongoing prosecutions against the outlawed opposition’s senior leaders and grassroots supporters.

Coronavirus (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Pooling of Samples, ‘Heroic Effort’ Allow for Up to 3,360 Daily Tests

UPDATED 6:50 p.m. — Pasteur Institute is running nearly 2,500 tests a day — “close to their limit” — while tests for airplane passengers have moved to the National Institute of Public Health. Pasteur is pooling samples, among other strategies, to accelerate testing volumes, the U.S. CDC says.

Delivery workers in Phnom Penh on October 29, 2020. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

Slashed Pay, Intense Competition Follow in Wake of Delivery Boom

Following aggressive expansion by the country’s delivery services, a number of drivers speak of fast-dropping delivery fees, which some say have fallen to a third of what they once got; uncertainty over worker benefits; and a lack of collective representation.

Preh Phnheas resident Chorb Kun looks at her IDPoor and loan documents in August 2020 in Battambang province. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

Facing Hunger, Battambang Villagers Use Gov’t Handouts to Repay Loans

PREY PHNHEAS, Battambang — Prey Phnheas village is a 60-minute drive south of Battambang’s provincial capital. Road 151, which leads to the village, is lined with rice fields getting their first taste of the monsoons in mid-August. But the closer you get to Prey Phnheas, the rice shoots are not as green.

Rice field rats caught in Koh Andet district are sold to brokers for 4,000 to 5,000 riel ($1 to $1.25) a kilogram. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

In Takeo, Migrant Families Turn to Rat Trade Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

During the rainy season, rising waters in the rice fields surrounding Takeo’s Koh Andet district provide an ample supply of rodents. As the global economic downturn leaves many jobless, some are turning to catching and exporting rats to make ends meet.