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1M doses per month in Covid-19 jab drive

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A medical worker prepares a dose of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at Dangkor Referral Hospital in southern Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

1M doses per month in Covid-19 jab drive

Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a large-scale Covid-19 vaccination campaign that will roll out one million doses per month to people across the country.

In an audio message on March 29, he instructed all provincial governors to prepare accommodations for medical specialists who will travel to the provinces to carry out the campaign.

“We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as donations will come one after another. We are set to inoculate our people,” he said.

The prime minister advised the authorities to work with hotel and guesthouse owners to offer accommodation at no cost as a “humanitarian gesture”.

“I suggest that the ad-hoc vaccination commissions only plan on spending for travel and food. The accommodations fall within the responsibility of the provincial governors. I think that all provincial governors will have an easy time taking care of it with the help of the hotel and guesthouse owners in their localities.

“We need to watch our spending at the national level because a great deal of our funding was donated by very generous people,” Hun Sen said, referencing a flurry of large donations totalling tens of millions of dollars in recent days given by prominent businessmen to help the government fight Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health has reported that there are currently 355 designated vaccination sites across the country, between the previously existing ones and the latest additions.

Cambodia has purchased 1.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China with those arriving in the Kingdom late last week.

The government has also received a donation of one million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China, with the first shipment of 600,000 doses having arrived in Phnom Penh on February 7 and the other 300,000 doses scheduled to arrive on March 31.

Early this month, 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines, marketed as Covishield, also arrived in Phnom Penh through the World Health Organisation’s Covax initiative.

Or Vandine, health ministry spokeswoman and head of the vaccination commission, said in a press release on March 27 that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be provided to all embassy and international NGO staff working in Cambodia.

According to Vandine, Phnom Penh is home to 18 embassies with 741 staff members in total. Embassy staff had already been vaccinated on March 26 at the National Paediatric Hospital. There are also 44 organisations operating in Cambodia under the umbrella of the UN, with a total of 162 staff who will be vaccinated at Calmette Hospital from March 26-31.

The Kingdom also has multilateral and bilateral international organisations which employ 443 workers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has notified them that they can be inoculated on March 30 at the Preah Ang Duong Hospital, she said.

As of March 29, Cambodia had recorded a total of 2,273 Covid-19 cases with 1,087 remaining hospitalised and 11 confirmed deaths.

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