Cambodian officials are reportedly continuing to prohibit the southern seaside resort communities of Sihanoukville and Prey Nop from re-opening their casinos following the implementation in October of a complete closure linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the injunction comes as the central government announced that it will be continuing its designation of Preah Sihanouk Province as a ‘yellow zone’ with regards to coronavirus. The source detailed that such a traffic-light classification, while not as proscriptive as the more serious ‘red zone’ allocation, nevertheless outlaws the operation of a wide range of non-essential venues including casinos.
Cambodia reportedly chalked up 631 new coronavirus infections yesterday to take its historical tally to over 34,800 for 266 associated deaths. Home to around 15 small casinos, Sihanoukville was purportedly one of first areas of the country to be impacted by the outbreak and has maintained a ban on non-essential journeys into or out of its territory since March.
The Khmer Times newspaper used a Saturday report to explain that Sihanoukville, which has a population of about 73,000, has recorded 4,579 coronavirus infections since a ‘community event’ on February 20. This incident purportedly arose after four Chinese nationals allegedly bribed their way out of a quarantine hotel in order to visit a series of nightclubs.
The newspaper moreover reported that Preah Sihanouk Province recorded its first coronavirus infection way back in January of 2020 but has yet to have seen a death linked to the ailment. This situation is purportedly all the more surprizing considering the aforementioned ‘community event’ and an earlier outbreak that was eventually linked to a group of tourists who had arrived from Siem Reap Province.
The Khmer Times furthermore reported that most of the coronavirus cases in Sihanoukville have ultimately been linked back to the city’s Phsar Leu ‘wet market,’ which is well-known for its fresh seafood. These initial infections were consequently said to have been spread into the wider population by shoppers, foreign construction workers and members of the general public.
The Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh was reportedly last week forced to introduce a raft of new social distancing and maximum capacity restrictions following a resurgence in coronavirus infections. The city’s 700-room NagaWorld facility, which is being operated by Asian casino giant NagaCorp Limited under a 24-year exclusivity arrangement, has purportedly been shuttered since the first day of March after eleven members of its staff tested positive for the potentially-lethal ailment.