Sihanoukville’s Jin Bei Casino allowed to reopen as Cambodian COVID outbreak spreads

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The governor of Preah Sihanouk, Kuoch Chamroeun, has granted permission for three hotspots in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, including Jin Bei Casino and Hotel, to resume normal operations.

All three branches of Jin bei Hotel as well as Jin Bei Casino and Hotel were closed down in late February after two positive cases of COVID-19 among Chinese guests were detected.

Inside Asian Gaming reported at the time that Jin Bei Casino and Hotel had been surrounded by police and locked down, with staff and players essentially trapped inside. A total of 32 locations across the city were subsequently designated as hotspots and another 19 as quarantine facilities, however Chamroeun lifted some of those on Sunday, with Jin Bei among them, according to a report by The Khmer Times.

There is, however, increasing concern over an outbreak of COVID-19 that continues to rapidly spread across the country. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday issued a ban on all public gatherings, including weddings and religious rituals, after two men separately defied isolation orders and attended weddings in Kampot and Takeo. Both subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

Having initially kept the global pandemic largely at bay, Cambodia is now in the midst of its first major outbreak with around 900 cases linked to the cluster and almost 60 new cases reported to 9pm Monday night. The outbreak is said to have started when four Chinese nationals bribed their way out of a quarantine hotel on 20 February and visited a series of nightclubs. Two of those Chinese nationals later tested positive for COVID-19.

Phnom Penh integrated resort NagaWorld remains closed after suspending operations earlier this month when 11 staff members tested positive to COVID-19 as part of a mass testing regime implemented by the company.

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