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Asian prisons are ticking time bombs for coronavirus outbreaks

Jails in the Philippines and Cambodia are breeding grounds for COVID-19

An anti-drug and contraband inspection at Manila City Jail in September 2018: Overcrowding and poor hygiene foster the spread of infectious diseases, such as deadly COVID-19.   © AFP/Jiji

PHNOM PENH/MANILA -- Kuoch Kimseang fears for the life of her younger sister.

Sokhom is one of 1,850 inmates in Phnom Penh's Correctional Center 2. The facility, Cambodia's only prison for women and children, was built to house 350 people. It is just one example of hundreds of severely overcrowded detention facilities in Southeast Asia that experts say are ticking time bombs for an explosion of coronavirus.

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