On Wednesday night, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered a recorded speech on state television talking about the country. an alarming spike in COVID-19 infection.
“My people – let’s work together to end this dangerous event,” the longtime leader begging his country. “We are on the verge of death. If we do not join hands, we will stab into real death ”.
Hun Sen also stated two-week course of Phnom Penh and the nearby town of Takhmau starting Thursday, which makes it impossible for people to leave home except to go to work, buy food or get medical treatment.
The sound of Hun Sen’s messages leaked hours before its official announcement. It went viral on social media and caused a wave of panic purchases that kept stores from selling, a sight that has been seen in dozens of countries since the pandemic began. .
“I appeal to all fellow citizens: please do not fall into panic like we saw at night. [of April 14], “He say, vow to punish the officials responsible for the release of the recording.
Like my colleague, Luke Hunt noted in these pages Earlier this week, the current spike was Cambodia’s third local COVID-19 outbreak, and is believed to have originated from two young Chinese women who bribed a guard and violated the censorship. February 20, supposed to be out of town.
On April 15, Cambodia recorded 344 new cases of the coronavirus, followed by 262 cases today, bringing the total number of cases to 5,480 infections and 36 deaths. Although this seems modest compared to what’s happening, IndiaThe outbreak came a year after Cambodia, through a combination of timely government action, cultural support and absolute luck, prevented most of the virus. In the year to 20 February, Cambodia recorded only 484 cases and there were no deaths caused by COVID-19.
Since the February 20 Community Event, as is known, confirmed cases have sprouted like fungi all over the country, many of which are the more infectious variant of COVID-19 in the UK, and government has been slow to control the outbreak.
Hun Sen admit in a speech on April 10 that “bad governance” was a factor in the worse flare-ups, a surprising acknowledgment from a leader who is often intolerant of words. quote. New news about media agency affiliated with Cambodian state report on Thursday that a senior official of the Information Ministry died of COVID-19, days after the World Health Organization warning that Cambodia is on the verge of a “national tragedy.”
To counter the country’s third wave, a defunct Phnom Penh hotel has been converted into a 500-room hospital, and authorities are enforcing a new law that imposes harsh penalties. for people who violate health rules and door locks. Cambodia has Turn off Its most famous tourist destination, the temples of Angkor, for two weeks, while the nearby town of Siem Reap also has announced The two-week course starts today.
Banks and microfinance institutions have also Interest payments are waived to reduce the pressure of the borrowers to lack cash, while some Buddhist monks have expressed concern that public support for the country’s monasteries and temples, especially those outside the capital, will be reduced.
When the pandemic first started hitting the United States and Western Europe, many observers pondered why mainland Southeast Asian countries – Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar – were successful in epidemic prevention.
Cambodia’s third wave is a reminder that while COVID-19 can be controlled with great effort, any faltering effort comes at a cost. A similar lesson is being learned in neighboring Thailand, that is currently going through its own third and present day COVID-19 outbreak Announce new restrictions That could jeopardize plans to restart the industry.
Meanwhile, in Myanmar, the virus broke out in September and was only under control by the time the military took power on February 1. Since then, testing and vaccination efforts have mostly stopped. As the country falls into political turmoil, it makes it difficult to know how serious the country’s coronavirus situation is.
These various outbreaks in countries that once seemed strangely immune to the virus suggest that even as public immunization campaigns are well underway, the fight against COVID-19 is in Southeast Asia is likely to last.