While it has been a year since the COVID-19 outbreak began, many areas of the world are still affected. Businesses are being forced to close on a temporary basis to ensure that major outbreaks do not happen and overwhelm hospital staff. In Cambodia, the Banteay Meanchey Province just recently announced a temporary closure of casino facilities due to a recent outbreak of positive cases. This province includes the town of Poipet, where casinos are affected.
Several New Cases
Just yesterday, a total of 171 new cases of the virus were reported in the province. This led officials to announce the closure of casino business. According to Chhoeun Kraiyong, the provincial administration director, Poipet casino guests were part of the group that tested positive for the virus.
Kraiyong said that the casinos would have remained open if they were not connected to the recent outbreaks. Casinos use certain protocols to ensure that players and employees do not contract the virus, but with high touch areas, it can be difficult to thwart 100%.
The Star Vegas Casino is one of the venues affected by the closure. Operated by Donaco International Ltd, the company has confirmed operations were suspended due to the recent official order. In a statement, Donaco said that the property will remain closed until notice is provided by the federal government.
The operator pointed out that the safety of staff and visitors is a top priority. Donaco will continue to monitor any developments and provide advisement with any updates.
The Root Cause
According to reports, the outbreak in Cambodia goes back to February 20, 2021, when four citizens of China were able to bribe their way out of a quarantined hotel. They spent the night clubbing and two of the individuals later tested positive for the virus.
The result has been a slow and steady spread of the virus. On March 1, NagaWorld was shut down as 11 employees tested positive for COVID-19. Casino operations in Sihanoukville were shut down before Banteay Meanchey due to the virus. In this region, the casinos must remain closed through May 6.
The capital of Cambodia is also affected by the recent outbreak. Phnom Penh has a nighttime curfew now and a travel ban is in place. These regulations will remain in effect until May 5.
The shutdowns are a result of the virus spread and will hopefully slow things down again. Officials will not be willing to reopen casinos until the number of positive virus cases lowers considerably.