(dpa) – Cambodia reported a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases on Friday, recording 576 new infections.
The daily total, released by the Ministry of Health, is by far Cambodia’s largest spike and represents more cases than the country saw during the entire first year of the pandemic.
All of the new infections are linked to an outbreak known as the February 20 event – for when it was detected.
The outbreak’s initial source has been linked to a group of Chinese nationals that escaped from hotel quarantine before finishing a mandatory isolation period.
It is now responsible for the lion’s share of the country’s 3,604 cases and is linked to all 24 Covid-linked deaths.
Friday’s surge follows the discovery of new hotspots in the capital Phnom Penh. These include a busy city market as well as a garment factory.
In an effort to control the spread, Cambodian authorities have introduced restrictions including an internal travel ban, an 8 pm to 5 am curfew, and the closure of tourist sites, including the country’s famous Angkor Wat temple.