February 20 2021 Community Incident – Phnom Penh

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We review the effects on businesses caused by the “February 20, 2021, Phnom Penh Community Incident” which saw the biggest number of positive COVID-19 cases linked to a community outbreak up to that point in time.

The news of the incident broke on Sunday 21st February 2021 and since then, a number of industries have announced temporary closures or changes to help prevent spreading coronavirus in the capital and beyond.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has said: “This community incident is worse than the previous two and in just three days, has become a more difficult situation than the previous two occasions to contain. I also appeal to all people in the country to avoid Phnom Penh as the city is in a health crisis and as such it is advisable not to come to the city for any purpose other than emergency needs.”

On April 1, Phnom Penh was the city to be affected by a new sub-decree that sees a curfew and other restrictions enforced for two weeks in the capital.

*Updated 26 April 2021 – We will add key changes to the situation in this article as they develop.

You can read more about vaccines in Cambodia here.

How many new COVID-19 cases are linked to this community outbreak?

You can also follow live hot map updates from the Khmer Times here or online here.

From April 4, 2021, the Phnom Penh City Hall Facebook page was releasing the names of positive cases in the capital to help halt the spread of COVID-19 in Phnom Penh.

City Hall has requested anyone who was in contact with COVID-19 patients to report to the local authorities immediately. Those who were in contact should also be being quarantined for 14 days.

Testing can be done at:

  • Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital
  • Chak Angre Health Center
  • Bak Touk High School
  • Boeng Trabek High School
  • Sopheak Mongkul Primary School

February 2021

  • February 20, 2021, 31 cases were initially linked to the February 20 Community Incident.
  • February 21, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 17 new COVID 19 cases, including 15 cases related to the “February 20 community event”.
  • The Ministry of Health confirmed on February 22, 2021, 35 new cases of COVID-19, including 31 cases related to the“February 20 community event”.
  • February 23, 2021, the Ministry of Health announced 25 more cases of COVID-19 infections in Cambodia, of which 23 cases were related to the “February 20 community event”.
  • February 24, 2021, 40 new cases of COVID-19, with 38 cases linked to the local outbreak “February 20 community event” were confirmed.
  • February 25, 2021, confirmed 65 new COVID-19 cases58 related to the “February 20 community event” and 7 others that were imported from abroad.
  • February 25, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 44 new COVID-19 cases, four were imported cases.
  • February 26, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 41 new COVID-19 cases, four were imported cases.
  • February 27, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 26 new COVID-19 cases, four were imported cases.
  • February 28, 2021, 39 new cases were detected, 35 of them linked to the February 20 incident.

March 2021

  • March 1, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 14 new positive COVID-19 cases.
  • March 2, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 24 new positive COVID-19 cases.
  • March 3, 2021,  12 news cases were confirmed in Phnom Penh, 10 in Sihanoukville and two in Svay Rieng.
  • March 4, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 31 new cases of COVID-19 cases. 28 are linked to the community incident (18 in Sihanoukville and 10 in Phnom Penh).
  • March 5, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 23 new cases of COVID-19 cases. 15 in Phnom Penh, 5 in Sihanoukville, 2 in Koh Kong & 1 in Kandal.
  • March 6, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 21 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 7, 2021, 31 cases were linked to the “February 20 community event” outbreak, while 3 were travellers from abroad.
  • March 8, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 24 new cases of COVID-19 cases. {Phnom Penh (12), Kandal (3), Kampong Cham (1), Kampong Thom (1) and Sihanoukville (7).}
  • March 9, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 49 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 10, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 64 new cases of COVID-19 cases (including the first case in Siem Reap – a woman who travelled by taxi and bus from Sihanoukville via Phnom Penh.)
  • March 11, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 39 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The first death in Cambodia due to COVID was also sadly reported –  a 50-year-old Cambodian male.
  • March 12, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 62 new cases of COVID-19 cases, 60 are linked to the “February 20 Community Event” outbreak.
  • March 13, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 39 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 14, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 41 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 15, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 18 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 16, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 105 new cases of COVID-19 cases, the biggest spike in one day since the pandemic started.
  • March 17, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 75 new cases of COVID-19 cases, 50 of whom are in Phnom Penh.
  • March 18, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 36 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 19, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 37 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 20, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 53 new cases of COVID-19 cases linked to the February 20 community event. Two deaths related to COVID were recorded on Friday the 18th March, raising the total to three.
  • March 21, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 47 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 22, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 73 new cases of COVID-19 cases, including the 4th confirmed death.
  • March 23, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 33 new cases of COVID-19 cases linked to the Feb 20 incident, and sadly, the 5th death was confirmed.
  • March 24, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 29 new cases of COVID-19 cases, 27 of whom are linked to the Feb 2021 incident.
  • March 25, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 55 new cases of COVID-19 cases, including the news of two more deaths.
  • March 26, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 96 new cases of COVID-19 cases, including the news of one more death.
  • March 27, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 177 new cases of COVID-19 cases, the biggest number in a single day in Cambodia. The majority were in Sihanoukville and also, unfortunately, the first death.
  • March 28, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 86 new cases of COVID-19 cases as well as the tenth confirmed death.
  • March 29, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 40 new cases of COVID-19 cases as well as the 11th confirmed death This was since disputed by the MoH.
  • March 30, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 105 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • March 31, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 63 new cases of COVID-19 cases. Three deaths were also confirmed during the course of the day bringing the total to 14.

April 2021

  • April 1, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 37 new cases of COVID-19 cases. Two more deaths were confirmed.
  • April 2, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 67 new cases of COVID-19 cases. Two additional deaths were confirmed.
  • April 3, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 99 new cases of COVID-19 cases. One death was also confirmed, a Korean national.
  • April 4, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 44 new cases of COVID-19 cases. A Cambodian woman was also recorded as the 20th death.
  • April 5, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 63 new cases of COVID-19 cases. One death was also recorded.
  • April 6, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 72 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The 21st death was also confirmed.
  • April 7, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 91 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The majority were in Phnom Penh.
  • April 8, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 113 new cases of COVID-19 cases and two more deaths. Clusters in Phnom Penh were from Orrusey Market and a garment factory.
  • April 9, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 576 new cases of COVID-19 cases and another death. This is the largest amount in a day in the Kingdom.
  • April 10, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 477 new cases of COVID-19 cases and one more death.
  • April 11, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 157 new cases of COVID-19 cases and three more deaths.
  • April 12, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 277 new cases of COVID-19 cases and one more death.
  • April 13, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 140 new cases of COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths.
  • April 14, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 177 new cases of COVID-19 cases and one death.
  • April 15, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 339 new cases of COVID-19 cases and the total deaths rose to 38.
  • April 16, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 262 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • April 17, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 291 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • April 18, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 618 new cases of COVID-19 cases. This is the new record daily high. Additionally, the death toll has increased to 46.
  • April 19, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 624 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The death toll rose to 47.
  • April 20, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 429 new cases of COVID-19 cases. The death toll was 49 in total.
  • April 21, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 303 new cases of COVID-19 cases. Five more deaths took the total to 54.
  • April 22, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed over 400 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • April 23, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 655 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • 61 deaths in total have been reported.
  • April 24, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 511 new cases of COVID-19 cases. 71 deaths have been reported in total.
  • April 25, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 616 new cases of COVID-19 cases with one death.
  • April 26, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 580 new cases of COVID-19 cases and five more deaths. The total of positive cases for the Kingdom has passed 10,000.
  • April 27, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 508 new cases of COVID-19 cases and five more deaths. The total number of deaths rose to 82.
  • April 28, 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 698 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths rose to 88.
  • April 29 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 880 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths rose to 92.
  • April 30 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 761 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths rose to 92.

May 2021

  • May 1 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 388 new cases of COVID-19 cases.
  • May 2 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 730 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high.
  • May 3 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 841 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths is 106.
  • May 4 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 938 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths is 107.
  • May 5 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 672 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths is 110.
  • May 6 2021, The Ministry of Health confirmed 650 new cases of COVID-19 cases and which is a new daily record high. The total number of deaths is 114

You can also follow David Benaim who posts daily updates based on information based on available data from MoH & CDC Facebook page, Open development Cambodia & CNE.

February 20 2021 Community Incident - Phnom Penh
February 20, 2021, Community Incident – Phnom Penh has nearly 100 COVID-19 cases

Who should you contact if you have symptoms?

If you have any symptoms such as a fever, cough, cold, sore throat or difficulty breathing, please call the emergency numbers:

  • 115
  • 012 825 424
  • 012 488 981
  • 012 836 868

Face Masks

The Ministry of Health on March 25th, 2021 designated locations for people to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Anyone not wearing a mask in these provinces faces a fine of between USD $50 and $250.

  • Phnom Penh
  • Preah Sihanouk
  • Kandal
  • Prey Veng
  • Siem Reap

Which locations in Phnom Penh have been affected?

For up to date restrictions & travel bans across Cambodia’s provinces, you can use Dixie Can’s map (this is not an official governmental link).

The Ministry of Health initially appealed to those who visited any of 23 locations between 6 to 20 February 2021, to get tested at Chak Angre Health Center and self isolate for 14 days. Since then a number of additional locations have been affected and some re-opened.

  1. N8 Club
  2. Casa By Meridian
  3. Le Gong Guan Hotel
  4. City Comfort
  5. The Bridge
  6. The Post Service Apartment
  7. Mekong Street
  8. Pent House Apartment
  9. Skyline Dumex
  10. Somet Condominium
  11. Residence L Olympic
  12. Prince Plazza Centre
  13. Celeste Skybar
  14. Diamond Twin
  15. Junzun Karaoke
  16. Coco Club and Hotel
  17. JuHao
  18. The World Shop (back of Ratana Plazza market)
  19. Care Mansion
  20. 168 Club (former Norkor Samrith, near Olympic Stadium)
  21. Love restaurant (Boeng Raing commune)
  22. Hun Sen Bun Rany Phnom Penh Thmey High School
  23. SIS International school (near Doeumkor market)

On 24th February 2021, the following locations for Phnom Penh were added (according to the Khmer Times):

  1. Kolab I primary school near Wat Phnom
  2. American Intercontinental School in Chak Angre Loeu commune
  3. Jinzun Karaoke in front of Phnom Penh International Airport
  4. Borey Hitech in Niroth commune
  5. Sela Whitehouse in Prek Eng commune
  6. Borey Chip Mong Land in Sen Sok commune
  7. Bali 2 in Chroy Changva commune
  8. Bali 5 in Tonle Bassac commune
  9. Phariya Apartment in Tonle Bassac commune
  10. Ngan Sophy ‘House in Kouk Khlaing commune
  11. Resident Le Boeng Tompun in Boeng Tompun commune
  12. Rotha’s Family near Wat Phnom
  13. Wedding Party near Global Pary in Taing Krasaing commune
  14. Romantic Restaurant near Wat Phnom
  15. Golden Jazz in Koh Pich
  16. Sous Tony’s Families in Tuol Sangke commune
  17. Ey Luo Ling Seang’s Shop in AEON I
  18. HH Hotel in the back of Wat Langka
  19. Diamond One in Koh Pich
  20. Ny Ka Smy in Beung Trabek commune
  21. Gold Class in Beung Keng Kang commune
  22. CASA Villa in Beung Keng Kang
  23. Elysee’ in Koh Pich

You are advised to check update daily as many more have been added and some removed from the list. On March 1st NagaWorld also voluntarily suspended operations after 11 staff tested positive for COVID-19.

What locations in Sihanoukville have been affected?

On March 3 2021, the number of locations associated with COVID-19 has increased to 32 in Sihanoukville.

  • 8811 Restaurant
  • Blue Bay Hotel
  • “520” Hotel
  • Aliya International Hotel
  • “100” Hotel and Apartment
  • Sambath Hotel and Apartment
  • Xihu International Hotel
  • Mingmen International Hotel
  • San Sang Zhong Guo Hotel
  • Palma Apartment Building
  • “78” Apartment Building
  • Easton Grand Hotel
  • All 3 branches of Jin Bei Hotel, Sihanoukville
  • One Kitchen Hotel
  • Guan Haungi Hotel
  • One Future Condominium
  • Goddess of Liberty Hotel
  • SS Hotel and Residence
  • Hay Geu Kang Hotel
  • Casino Chhang Chheung Hotel and Restaurant Chou Hay Taing
  • Brilliancy Hotel and Casino
  • Thai Khang Hospital
  • Casino Haong Lie
  • Nan Hay Hotels and Darun Fa Supermarket
  • Zing Shaone Hotel
  • Han Gaun Hotel
  • Jin Feng Hotel
  • International Polyclinic Hospital

On 1st March 2021, Preah Sihanouk Provincial administration urged its residents not to leave the city in a bid to contain the situation. People from other provinces and Phnom Penh were advised not to visit Sihanoukville.

This was amended on March 4th, when travel to and from Sihanoukville was temporarily suspended, except for trucks and ambulances (which must pass proper inspection conditions).

Schools have also been ordered closed.

What locations in Kampot have been affected?

No known locations have yet been closed due to direct positive cases of COVID-19 in Kampot.

However, on February 22nd, the Commissioner of the Kampot Provincial Police ordered the provincial police force to inspect entertainment businesses and to temporarily close all KTV business and entertainment clubs including karaokes, bars, discos, beer cruises, and beer gardens.

In April, 2021 the alcohol bans and curfews were also put in place.

Kep

In March 2021, the governor of Kep requested that anyone arriving in Kep from an infected province would need to undergo two weeks of self-quarantine.

Since then the region has also been affected by nationwide restrictions and emergency declarations.

Siem Reap and Battambang

By March 11, the outbreak had affected 8 provinces with one case each in Siem Reap and Battambang.

The Siem Reap Provincial Administration conducts primary health checks and a QR Code scanner on National Road 6 at the Siem Reap-Kampong Thom provincial border is checking the health of visitors to the province.

Other provinces affected by the outbreak included Kandal, Prey Veng, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham and Koh Kong and this has since grown.

Public events and gatherings

Initially, when implemented, there was a lack of clarity on what the restrictions were – no groups of 20 were allowed but Hun Sen also told the Khmer Times that he appealed “for all wedding ceremonies to be cancelled and if this cannot be done for whatever reason to scale down seating.”

On March 9, 2021, the Prime Minister also issued an order and called on the ministries, state institutions and the legislature to temporarily suspend on-site work at the institutions, leaving only a small number of workers and to work from home where possible, with the “immediate suspension of all gatherings”.

“This is not the total institutional shutdown, but the reduction of personnel present at the workplace to at least 90 per cent”.

This was followed by Prime Minister Hun Sen asking the provincial and capital governors to temporarily ban gatherings on March 16th, 2021.

In April, regional and nationwide travel restrictions, alcohol bans and curfews have been implemented.

QR Codes for contact tracing – “Stop COVID”

Public and private institutions, restaurants, hotels, factories etc have been asked to register and set up the QR Code “Stop COVID” to assist with contact tracing in the capital.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) reported more than 10,000 businesses had implemented the QR code by Monday 22 February 2021.

QR Code “Stop COVID” can be downloaded at https://stopcovid.gov.kh

Businesses are asked to print and paste the QR code on their entry-exit, so the public can scan it with their smartphones when they check-in and check-out. By March 9, 2021, the “Stop COVID” QR code app had received 5 million scans at almost 100,000 locations.

The system does not track the privacy of each individual.

QR Codes for contact tracing - “Stop COVID”
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) reported more than 10,000 businesses had implemented the QR code by Monday 22 February 2021

Bars, Clubs, KTVs in Phnom Penh

On February 21, 2021, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) announced the closure of all KTV, entertainment clubs (karaoke, bars, discos and beer gardens) in the capital of Phnom Penh to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

Schools Closed

The MoEYS confirmed all schools in Phnom Penh and Kandal to close for a minimum of 2 weeks following the recent outbreak. Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron asked for all affected schools to hold classes online instead.

On February 24th 2021, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) also closed all public and private schools in Sihanoukville and Stung Hav for 14 days.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports continued to suspend public and private educational institutions in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Sihanoukville, along with in Stung Hav district in Preah Sihanouk until COVID outbreak “February 20 community event” is brought under control, it announced on March 4, 2021.

On March 15th, 2021. Minister of Education Hang Chuon Narong asked schools to supply a list of teachers to the ministry so that the teachers can be vaccinated.

Minister of Education Hang Chuon Narong announced on March 20, 2021, that all educational institutions nationwide in Cambodia must temporarily close.

Cinemas & entertainment venues in Phnom Penh

Major Cineplex Cambodia announced on 23rd February that its cinemas at Aeon 1 and Aeon 2 in Phnom Penh had closed for two weeks. We advise you to follow their social media pages for updates and clarifications.

Legend Cinema also confirmed they have closed their cinemas in Phnom Penh only.

On February 23rd the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts issued a two-week temporary closure in Phnom Penh and Kandal Province of all:

  • Cinemas
  • Art galleries
  • Theatres
  • Museums

We will update as we see more notifications.

Fitness Clubs, Gyms, Sports Clubs

Fitness clubs, gyms and other sports-related business and exercise gatherings were suspended on February 24th 2021 in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Preah Sihanouk Provinces and since banned outright.

Sports Bans

in February, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) said sports activities and events in the education sector that involve 20 or more people were not allowed due to the latest outbreak.

Since the end of March sports and group activities have not been allowed with increased restrictions implemented.

What fines are there for breaking COVID-19 Rules in Cambodia?

On March 2, 2021, the Council of Ministers approved the draft law on “Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and other Deadly and Serious Infectious Diseases”. The Draft includes six chapters and 18 articles.

According to the Khmer Times, examples of fines once approved by the National Assembly and the Senate would be:

  • Those who escape quarantine can face from nine months to three years of jail time and $500 to $1,250 in fines
  • Those who already have the disease and escape treatment can face up to 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines.
  • Foreigners who did not adhere to the COVID-19 SOPs and rules will face deportation with no re-entry into the Kingdom.

How can this impact foreigners in Cambodia?

As long as you comply with the laws and follow the Cambodian government guidelines expats and foreigners living and working in the Kingdom who are connected to the outbreak of COVID-19 if they flout the laws.

You are advised to keep digital copies of your work permit and up to date visa on your mobile phones.

Media outlets reported that “harsher penalties await foreigners and owners of establishments who or which are connected with COVID-19”.

  1. For foreigners- deportation from the Kingdom of Cambodia and prohibited from re-entering the country.
  2. For Cambodians, please take legal action.
  3. For the location, please revoke the license and close the business.

Cambodians will take legal action “by not reporting possible patrons or visitors or not cooperating with authorities in contact tracing efforts, will be closed down and their licenses revoked” reported the Khmer Times.

We advise you to follow the official Cambodian government and ministries updates as more announcements are likely to be made.

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