Cambodia and Its ‘Dictator’ Struggle With the Pandemic

The WHO issues “dire warning” ahead of Khmer New Year.

A record surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases has left Cambodians stranded and indoors with the government extending a night time curfew after banning sales of alcohol, closing borders between 24 provinces, and introducing prison sentences for those who breach the rules.

Almost all shops have shuttered while restaurants are allowed to offer take-away food services only. Lockdowns the size of a city block around COVID-19 hotspots are a regular occurrence. Nearly all confirmed cases involve the U.K. variant of the disease.

“I accept being called a dictator, but I will also be admired for protecting my people’s lives,” Prime Minister Hun Sen told Cambodians when announcing prison terms of up to 20 years for people who breach quarantine rules. Curfew has been extended until April 28.

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