february 20 cluster
Residents of Phnom Penh’s Prince Central Plaza condominium complex provide their samples for Covid-19 testing on the evening of February 23, 2021. (Supplied)

‘One Confirmed Case’: Inside a Monthlong Covid-19 Building Lockdown

Tenants of a Phnom Penh condominium complex spoke of daily life and frustrations during a monthlong Covid-19 lockdown, just as restrictions were lifted late Friday for most of the 800 people stuck inside. One floor remains locked down following a positive test two weeks ago.

Coronavirus (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

All Sequenced ‘February 20’ Cases Are ‘UK’ Covid-19 Variant: US CDC

All Covid-19 cases genetically sequenced in the ongoing “February 20” outbreak in Cambodia — which has seen more than 1,000 patients total — have been the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant, believed to be the only variant currently circulating in Cambodia, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Phnom Penh said Thursday.

People walk in and out of the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh on March 19, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Updated: Cambodia Reports First Covid-19 Death

Cambodia has confirmed its first death from Covid-19, a Health Ministry statement said on Thursday, with a spokesperson saying the man had been put on a ventilator for two days.

Kandal provincial authorities at a quarantine site in Takhmao City on March 10, 2021. (Kandal provincial police Facebook page)

Kandal Village Locked Down, 6,000 in the Province Quarantined

The “February 20” Covid-19 outbreak is fanning out in the provinces, with a village of 300 households in Kandal province locked down, schools closed in parts of Siem Reap and Prey Veng, and parties, weddings and other gatherings suspended in Kampong Speu.

A Covid-19 patient in the Phnom Penh Quarantine Center holds a bag of three medications in early March 2021. (Supplied)

Dismissed Drug, Poor Care? Concerns Raised After Covid-19 Center Death

Covid-19 patients in Cambodia have been treated with hydroxychloroquine, a health official said, even though medical researchers last year dismissed the drug as a treatment for Covid-19, and the WHO this week said it should not be used to prevent or treat coronavirus.

Authorities stand at attention outside a Phnom Penh quarantine center in February 2021. (Phnom Penh Police Facebook)

Covid-19 Positive Patient’s Death in Quarantine ‘Due to Drug Overdose’

A Chinese man with Covid-19 died in quarantine in Phnom Penh on Thursday, the Health Ministry said, but ruled his death “due to drug overdose” after an autopsy. In a Facebook post, the ministry further clarified that “there was no drug use” and the death was caused by serious withdrawal symptoms and not Covid-19.

Near empty streets in Sihanoukville on March 4, 2021 as the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration announced a ban on travel in and out of the province following a rise in Covid-19 cases. (Preah Sihanouk provincial administration’s Facebook page)

Travel Banned, Masks Mandatory in Preah Sihanouk Amid Outbreak

Preah Sihanouk suspended transport in and out of the province, while authorities on Thursday extended school closures, and Prime Minister Hun Sen said the “February 20” Covid-19 outbreak could last past Khmer New Year next month.