Cambodia before and during the Coronavirus
What was the country like before corona?
The first case in Cambodia was confirmed on 27th of January, which was a 60-year-old man. Before the 27th of January, everything was different. Cambodia has much sights such as Cambodia's most iconic temple in Angkor Wat. Famed for its grand size and incredible sense of detail, the Khmer structure in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia usually welcomes more than two million visitors every year. This isn't possible due to corona. They will lose much income from that. Before COVID-19, Cambodia was a country with much tourism. Cambodia is a beautiful place to visit for vacation. But since the lockdown, people won't be able to visit other countries.
What is the country like during the pandemic?
COVID19 country impact and response
The corona virus has a very big impact on Cambodia and its society. To begin with, clothing is an important part of the industry in Cambodia. The corona virus and all the limitations that come with it make the clothing industry heavy. Many of the employees in this sector are therefore at great risk of losing their jobs (Al Jazeera, 2020). The main development of Cambodia, which is one of the LDC' (Lowest Developed Countries), is because of the clothing industry. This is because they benefit from low productions costs, but also from trade preferences in the most developed and major developing markets. Covid-19 created a shock, because there were massive cancellations of clothing orders (Al Jazeera, 2020).
Cambodia was quick to take measures around the virus. For example, the country decided in a very short time that the borders would be closed. Or at least, people from countries with many infections should no longer be allowed to enter the country. In addition, schools, museums, cinemas and churches were subsequently closed. Comparable to the measures taken in the Netherlands (Al Jazeera, 2020). Hygiene in Cambodia is limited, and people live close together. This makes it difficult to comply with, for example, the 1,5 meters distance rule. In turn to increase the chance of contamination. However, the figures do not yet seem to indicate large numbers and the number of infections is limited (Al Jazeera, 2020).
Medical teams from China have flown in to tackle the coronavirus in Cambodia. They will focus on controlling the spread, provide the country with protective equipment and have donated necessary resources (Al Jazeera, 2020). The biggest problem are the poorest people, because they depend on their income. Without income, there is a change to end up in more trouble. The lack of large stocks of food makes it more difficult to bridge a period of no income. This again makes it difficult to stay at home and keep you distance. In addition to these problems, hygiene is also one of the problems in this country, as mentioned before. When facilities such as clean water and soap are not available, it is not feasible to follow the hygiene regulations to prevent the virus. The country is trying to take precautions by wearing face masks, measuring temperatures from people in stores and disinfecting hands (Al Jazeera, 2020).
But the positive thing about all of this: all coronavirus patients recover in Cambodia. There are no cases in the last couple of weeks. There were 122 cases and no deaths (Al Jazeera, 2020).
How do they compare?
Life has completely changed due to the corona virus. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Cambodia. For example, clothing industry is an important thing over there. Many are at risk losing their jobs. Not only in the clothing industry, but also due to tourism. Tourists won't go to Angkor Wat right now to visit the temple. The difference is the unemployment. The unemployment rate became higher because of the corona virus (VNA 2020).
There were 122 cases, meant 122 people got infected and all of them were discharged from the hospital after they recovered. Although there aren't more new cases, the government still limits the numbers of gathering, the number of people meeting in group as well as continue to close all schools, entertainment places, casinos etc... The Cambodian government tries the best to stop the spread of the virus, therefore they are looking for better ways to protect their people. To make sure, people follow the government. Together they can stop the virus and win this battle. This was in the beginning of May (VNA 2020).
Cambodia's National Committee for Combating COVID-19 on May 12 discussed easing restrictions and reopening businesses in priority sectors in a bid to boost the national economy. In fact, Cambodian people are gradually returning to their usual routines as no new infections were recorded over the past month (VNA 2020).
How did the virus affect the economy in Cambodia?
Since the virus spread, 80-90% of people also got affected with financial crisis as their business is too slow and some closed. As for the business related to tourism are worst because most hotels and guest houses closed. The tuk tuk drivers or any person work with tourists, cannot earn a cent. They are struggling to survive. Even the bank or micro finance also faced this trouble as their clients cannot make money to pay for their loan. Actually, the banks did not delay the payment, but the clients can pay late to make sure the payment will not go to next month, double months/payment.
How are the students in Cambodia doing their schoolwork?
Students have to learn online, because they cannot go to school. Our government set the schedule for online classes for all classes with different time. They can learn from Facebook as the ministry of education page posted online in Facebook and they can also learn from TV. Although the outcome from the arrangement is not completely sufficient, it helps 50-60%. We appreciate what our government do and adjust to the situation.
Al Jazeera. (2020, May 16). All coronavirus patients recover in Cambodia, no cases for weeks. Retrieved May 11, 2020, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/coronavirus-patients-recover-cambodia-cases-weeks-200516072811468.html
VNA. (2020, May 14). Cambodia to relax restrictions against COVID-19 to boost economy. Retrieved May 16, 2020, from https://english.cambodiadaily.com/business/cambodia-to-relax-restrictions-against-covid-19-to-boost-economy-164032/