The Chinese military and Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) have donated 600,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses to assist the Kingdom in its ongoing fight against Covid-19.
The majority of the donation consists of 500,000 doses sent by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to the Cambodian military. The other 100,000 doses are from RCSC with the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) the intended recipients.
The military to military Covid-19 vaccine donation is the third such shipment arranged between the two country’s armed forces since the pandemic began. Minister of National Defence Tea Banh and Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian were on hand for the vaccines arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport on August 23.
“As long as Covid-19 in Cambodia persists, China’s donations to Cambodia will not end. To meet the needs of the Royal Government of Cambodia ... [China’s] government and armed forces will continue to provide vaccines and protective equipment as often as we can for Cambodia’s Covid-19 fight,” Wentian said.
As of August 23, a total of 22.2 million doses of vaccines had been provided by China to Cambodia through purchases and donations.
“The Cambodian government has been enforcing different measures to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19. Vaccinations across the country play an important role in the prevention of its spread and for reducing the pressure on the health system,” Wang said.
Defence minister Tea Banh said at the ceremonial reception that Cambodia was accomplishing vaccinations at a rate comparable to or better than many developed countries and China’s help made it possible.
“The 500,000 doses of vaccines is the third phase donated by the Chinese government through its defence ministry to Cambodia’s defence ministry and this contributes to an effective prevention strategy and makes it possible for us to break the Delta transmission chain in the community,” he said.
Tea Banh called on medics, the army and the public to actively partake in government efforts to stop Covid-19 by getting vaccinated, masking, washing hands and social distancing.
After the arrival of the vaccines, the CRC issued a press statement to thank the RCSC.
“The Covid-19 vaccines donated by the Red Cross Society of China will be used as an effective tool to contribute to national efforts to deal with the pandemic,” the CRC said.
The CRC said vaccines alone will not be able to stop the transmission of the disease, which would require the full participation of the general public and stricter observance of health protocols than seen previously.