Cambodia to shut borders with Vietnam amid raging pandemic

By Phan Anh   March 20, 2020 | 01:11 am PT
Cambodia to shut borders with Vietnam amid raging pandemic
Three people, including a police officer, wear masks in a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 17, 2020. Photo by AFP.
The border between Cambodia and Vietnam will close due to Covid-19, while Singapore requires recent returnees from Vietnam to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Cambodia would not allow no border traffic via either land, sea or air starting 11:59 p.m. March 20 to alleviate the burden on both Vietnamese and Cambodians in quarantine, according to a Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation letter sent March 18.

The request aims to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Cambodian foreign ministry affirmed.

The Cambodian travel restriction would not be applied to Vietnamese and Cambodians carrying diplomatic or official passports.

Cambodia requests authorities of both countries cooperate to maintain cross-border commerce, and that Vietnam help Cambodians currently quarantined in the country to return home.

In another effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, Singapore required all short-term visitors who are nationals of any Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, to submit information regarding their health condition before their intended date of travel to Singapore starting March 16, the Singaporean Ministry of Health declared.

All short-term visitors entering Singapore would be issued a 14-day Stay-Home notice, the Singaporean health ministry added.

Vietnam has stopped issuing new visas to all foreigners starting March 18 in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. The restriction applies to arrivals from all countries and territories, except in certain cases like those who are eligible for visa waivers or diplomats.

The country has recorded 85 infections so far, of whom 17 were cured and discharged from hospital.

Cambodia meanwhile has recorded 37 infections, all under treatment, and Singapore 345, including 124 recovered cases.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 180 countries and territories, claiming over 10,000 lives.

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