JAKARTA, Indonesia

A two-week COVID-19 lockdown started in Cambodia’s capital and a neighboring city on Thursday.

The capital Phnom Penh has seen a rise in infections over recent days and accounted for most of the 344 new cases reported in Cambodia on Thursday.

Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced the decision to impose a 14-day lockdown in Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau, a city some 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of the capital, on Wednesday night.

The lockdown will last until at least April 28, according to the premier.

People will be prohibited from leaving their homes unnecessarily, while those traveling for work or business must have a certifying letter from their employers or local authorities.

“People still can go out to buy food or other necessities, but only two persons from a household will be allowed to go outside and not more than three times a week,” the premier explained.

He added that people are allowed to leave their homes for health reasons or emergency situations, but must comply with safety measures, especially wearing a mask and maintaining distance.

“The lockdown aims to ensure effectiveness in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau, as well as preventing the spread of the disease to other areas,” Hun Sen added.

Cambodia’s overall COVID-19 tally now stands at 5,218 and, as of Tuesday, around 1.17 million people out of the country’s 16 million population had been vaccinated against the virus, according to the Health Ministry.

*Writing by Maria Elisa Hospita

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