Four Phnom Penh Communes, Three Villages Declared ‘Red Zones’

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The new Covid-19 restrictions in Phnom Penh are more lenient than the harsher lockdown measures imposed in April and May. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Phnom Penh City Hall declared four communes and three villages in the locked down capital as “red zones” under a new decree made public on Monday, requiring that even food sellers are closed down.

In an announcement Monday evening, City Hall said Stung Meanchey I, II and III communes in Meanchey district, Choam Chao I commune in Pur Senchey district, and villages 14, 16 and 17 in Toul Kork district’s Boeng Salang commune had been designated as red zones.

The move comes after 624 new cases of Covid-19 were announced on Monday, another new record after 618 cases were announced on Sunday. The country currently has 4,439 active cases of Covid-19.

In an order issued earlier Monday, the government outlined the requirements for red zones. No one is allowed to leave their houses except for medical reasons, it says.

All businesses are temporarily closed, including markets and food and grocery sellers, it adds.

Exceptions are limited to the fire service, electricity providers, water supply, emergency services, health providers, garbage collection, pharmaceutical and disinfectant suppliers, noodle production, cooking gas suppliers and “state food suppliers.”

Travel in and out is strictly limited to civil servants and armed forces.

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The Commerce Ministry is further charged with coordinating the sale of foodstuffs to residents of red zones, the order says. Authorities will also donate rice, noodles, canned fish, fish sauce and soy sauce to those in need.

Municipal police spokesperson San Sokseyha said the red zones would be the focus of policing to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

“The red zone is the most at risk. Many people are infected and [the virus has] spread to many people,” he said.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Seang Thai said the ministry would help bring supplies to people who cannot leave their homes, taking orders through phone and an online system. The goods would be left in front of people’s houses, Thai said.

“Tomorrow we will start to go down and contact the authorities in communes. … The local authorities will announce that the Commerce Ministry has rice, canned fish and fish sauce, soy sauce to sell, and if brothers and sisters want to buy, here is the phone number,” Thai said. “The working group will bring their orders through PassApp to transport and bring to their house’s gate.”

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