The Shadow Pandemic of Migration in Cambodia

As of the second week of February 2021, there have been a total of 466 COVID-19 cases registered in Cambodia, 443 recoveries and 0 deaths. Cambodia is managing the COVID-19 pandemic well in comparison to global superpowers. This achievement can be contrasted with the United Kingdom, where there have been a total of 3,817,176 cases, 106,158 deaths and plans to stay in lockdown until the middle of February. Or, it can be further contrasted with the United States of America where there has been a total of 26,767,229 cases and 452,279 deaths. Despite new hope and the beginning of vaccinations, the prior statistics are not static, nor are they bound to decrease expeditiously.

Cambodia’s success can be attributed to the quick response of the government and introduction of public health measures including border control and mandatory 14 days quarantine for incoming passengers, followed by COVID-19 testing. On March 17th, 2020, Cambodia banned entries from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. On March 20th, Cambodia’s borders with its neighbor Vietnam were closed and then its border with Thailand was closed on the 23rd of the same month. By March 28th, there were strict travel restrictions imposed to enter Cambodia, measures that are still in place. Within the span of a month, the resourceful albeit strict regime in Cambodia ensured a streak of no new cases, and limited risk of local community transmission.

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