The Siem Reap Provincial Administration has given permission to 223 food delivery drivers from three firms to transport customer’s orders to locations in the red zones after the drivers all tested negative for Covid-19.

In a notice on September 21, it said the 223 delivery drivers are from FoodPanda, Nham24 and Wing Delivery. The provincial administration will cover the delivery fees for meals ordered from these companies by people in the locked down areas.

“The facilitation of these services is being done to encourage people in the red zone areas to order food and get it delivered directly to them so they can avoid leaving their homes and spurring further transmission of the virus,” it said.

The provincial administration has placed a number of villages and communes in lockdown.

On September 20, it designated Ta Prak village in Meanchey commune and Daun Teav village in Roluos commune, both in Prasat Bakong district, as red zones effective through September 26.

“The temporary closure is to ensure the effective control of Covid-19 transmission in closed geographic locations and prevent this disease from spreading to other areas,” provincial governor Tea Seiha said.

During the lockdown, all individuals are prohibited from leaving their own homes. All non-essential travels are banned. Anyone caught violating the orders will have their vehicles impounded and is subject to legal action.

Markets, eateries, grocery stores and other non-essential businesses in the red zones are to be temporarily suspended. All sales of alcohol and private gatherings are also prohibited.

Previously, on September 19 the provincial administration designated Kampong and Sramor villages in Chi Kraeng district’s Chi Kraeng commune as red zones for one week due to Covid-19.

And prior to that on September 17 it designated three villages and four communes in Siem Reap town as red zones and locked them down as well. Those areas included Slakram, Svay Dangkum, Kokchak and Chreav communes and Ta Vien village in Sala Kamroeuk commune as well as Prey Thom and Sra Nge villages in Sra Nge commune.

The inter-ministerial committee to combat Covid-19 – in collaboration with the Covid-19 commission of Siem Reap – has also activated the Covid hotline number 115 within the province.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng issued a letter granting permission to the Lotus Blanc Hotel & Resort as the first hotel in Siem Reap authorised to provide care and treatment for Covid-19 patients.

“Covid-19 patients with mild cases are allowed to be cared for and treated at Lotus Blanc Hotel in Siem Reap town’s Svay Dangkum commune. Drs Kuy Nalin and Ith Chorp Chhorath are the persons in charge of medical affairs,” stated his letter dated September 20.

Bun Heng said the hotel must not provide medical services other than care for mild cases of Covid-19. The hotel said it plans to begin admitting patients on September 25.

Separately, the Svay Rieng Provincial Administration also announced the temporary closure of stalls at Srah Market in Chrey Thom commune’s Srah village of Romeas Hek district for 14 days starting from September 20 and running through October 4.

The directive states that during the closure people are restricted from entering the market and prohibited from gathering or meeting at locations within or nearby the premises.