Ms. Ny Tryhua and her husband, a Vietnamese Khmer family living near Orussey market said that their residence was opposite the quarantine site. The lockdown order was issued so suddenly that they could barely prepare. It was until some hours before the lockdown that they got the news. "There are a lot of infection cases in my district. There are restricted areas just across the street, no one is allowed in or out.Police quarantine Orussey Market. (Photo: VN Express)
The situation here is dangerous, my family has not dared to go anywhere a few days now," Ny's husband, named Ti, who used to work as a tour guide in Phnom Penh before the pandemic, answered VN Express reporters via mobile. In nearly 14 months since the pandemic appeared, Cambodia has restricted cross-border activities. Ny and Ti family lose their income from foreign tourists and have to live on Ny Tryhua's small business, which is worsening because of this lockdown.
Ouk Channy, a Vietnamese Khmer working as a tour guide in Cambodia, who used to make USD 1000 per month, fell into debt due to the pandemic. Though confused about the situation, Ouk knows that Cambodian authorities had to use strict measures to prevent the situation from turning worse. A large number of Vietnamese Khmer support the lockdown order as a necessary step to control the pandemic.A deserted Phnom Penh. (Photo: Zing News)
Chol Chnam Thmay (Cambodian New Year) is the country's biggest holiday. Due to the pandemic, the holiday bears a sad atmosphere. Sim Chy's family just welcomed Chol Chnam Thmay at home. His family has been in Cambodia for 6 generations yet never experienced such a sad Chol Chnam Thmay. “My family and I welcomed my grandparents in Cambodia.
These days, Cambodian are only celebrating the holiday in their houses instead of going out", Sim Chy said. The government only allows art performances on television and radio. Outdoor activities are prohibited, including going to the temples.Restaurants close at Cambodian New Year. (Photo: Zing News)
However, many Vietnamese living in Cambodia considered this a break from work. Phuong Thuy, who lives and works in Phnom Penh, shared that she did not celebrate the Khmer New Year. “I work during the holiday both last year and this year. I can't go anywhere or meet anyone, so this year holiday is just the same as last year. The only difference is that there is a lockdown order,” Ms. Thuy said.
As of April 18, Cambodian medical authorities have organized vaccination against COVID-19 for more than 1,2 million people nationwide. The vaccination has still been carried on in Phnom Penh and Takhmao despite the lockdown. According to Mr. Sim Chy, the Vietnam Embassy to Cambodia has worked with Cambodia's Foreign Ministry on vaccination support for businessmen and investors in Cambodia.Pagodas welcome barely any visitors. (Photo: Zing News)
For not having Cambodian nationality, the majority of Vietnamese here faced difficulties in the initial pandemic times. However, after the Khmer-Vietnam Association worked with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior and 25 localities, more than 10 have agreed to allow Vietnamese legally residing in Cambodia to be vaccinated.
During the pandemic, business and production activities are halted. Many Vietnamese in Cambodia have difficulties in doing business. However, the Vietnamese here try to support each other. Sim Chy said that it is necessary to share how to live with the pandemic. He told his compatriots to be careful, avoid gathering, protect themselves. Sim Chy acknowledged the efforts of the Vietnamese embassy and general consulates to promptly support the people.