Cambodia Closes Angkor Temples as Covid-19 Outbreak Grows

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Cambodia is closing its most famous attraction, the Angkor temple complex, to visitors because of a growing Covid-19 outbreak in the Southeast Asian nation.

Cambodia has confirmed 3,028 cases of infection with the coronavirus, with 23 deaths, since the pandemic began more than a year ago, but the newest outbreak has infected several hundred people. On Thursday, the Health Ministry said 113 cases were reported from local transmission, with two deaths.

The ministry traced the outbreak to a foreign resident who broke hotel quarantine to visit a nightclub in February. That caused a slew of infections and led the government to close public schools, cinemas, bars and entertainment areas in Phnom Penh.

The closures have been extended as the outbreak grows day by day, a defunct hotel has been converted into a 500-room coronavirus hospital, and authorities are imposing criminal punishments for violating health rules. The temples at Angkor, built between the 9th and 15th centuries, are Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction, though the pandemic has reduced the number of visitors dramatically. The ban on local and foreign tourists at the site will last until April 20, the government agency overseeing the archeological site said.

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