Kingdom shuts some schools, bans foreign visitors, cruise ships amid Covid-19 spread

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Cambodian authorities announced a series of measures on Saturday to halt the spread of the deadly Covid-19 disease after more cases were detected in the Kingdom.

Among the measures are an early vacation for schools in Siem Reap town and Phnom Penh, a 30-day entry ban on nationals from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US, and a ban on cruise ships and riverboats entering Cambodia.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport said as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and more cases being detected in Cambodia of late, immediate preventive measures had to be taken to halt its spread in the Kingdom.

“The ministry instructs all public and private educational institutions, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap town to go on early short-term vacation from the date of this announcement until the resumption of the schooling,” the announcement said.

It told all educational institutions that have not yet completed their first semesters to take the average combined student scores for January and February, as the average scores for the first semester.

The ministry also told parents and caretakers to encourage students to study at home.

Parents also need to care about their children and must not allow them to visit public swimming pools, gyms, kindergartens, and other public places where the risk of contracting the coronavirus is high, it said.

The Ministry of Health on Saturday said: “Recently, Cambodia has detected one case after another of Covid-19 among foreigners of different nationalities.

“This requires [us] to take immediate preventive measures against the transfer of Covid-19 into the Kingdom.

“Therefore, the Mnistry of Health has acted to ban foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US, from entering Cambodia for 30 days, starting from March 17 onwards,” it said.

On Friday, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport “postponed” the entry of all cruise ships to Cambodia to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Mak Sideth, the director-general of the Department of Waterway-Maritime Transport and Ports said: “With the necessity to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from passengers travelling on cruise ships, the department has decided to postpone the entry permission for passenger cruise ships to Cambodia from today until further notice.”

Meantime, the Ministry of Health said seven positive Covid-19 cases have been found in Cambodia, six of whom were foreigners. There has been no fatalities.

In the latest cases, a Canadian staff of a private school in Phnom Penh, and a Belgian who works for an NGO, also in the capital, were found to have contracted the disease.

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