The Ministry of Health on February 28 announced the opening of vaccination sites in all provinces from March 1. This came as it recorded 39 more cases of Covid-19, all but four of which were linked to the February 20 community transmission.
The four imported cases are returning Cambodian UN peacekeepers who arrived from Africa via India on February 21.
Among the 35 community transmission infections, five were Cambodians, six were Vietnamese and 24 were Chinese. Eight of the Chinese nationals stayed in Preah Sihanouk province and their infections were discovered when they were tested for health certifications required for international travel. These bring the number of cases linked to the Kingdom’s third community transmission event to 302 in just over a week.
The ministry also announced that starting March 1, there would be 83 referral hospitals across the Kingdom equipped to offer Covid-19 vaccinations.
Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine reiterated calls for the public to remain vigilant. “Cambodia’s current situation consists of scattered cluster infections. The vaccine alone is not the golden solution to the pandemic. To beat Covid-19 at this time, we cannot depend exclusively on the vaccine.
“The combined measures of the ‘three do’s and three don’ts’ and vaccination create strong defences for individuals to prevent the serious health risks which can occur from the virus, reduce the burden of hospitalisations and minimise incidence of the disease in the community.
“Vaccinations are also being conducted on a regular basis, depending on the quantity currently available,” she said.
The ministry also announced that on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recommendation, the government would also begin voluntary vaccinations of rubbish collection workers in the capital who are between 18 and 59 years old.
Rubbish collectors will be eligible to be vaccinated at eight referral hospitals in the capital: Prek Phnov, Phnom Penh, Chbar Ampov, Dangkao, Chaktomuk, Samdech Ov Samdech Mey, Pochentong and the Sensok Cambodia-China Friendship Referral Hospital.
Meanwhile, health minister Mam Bunheng has announced the formation of a sub-committee on management and security in quarantine and targeted Covid-19 areas. Hun Manet, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, will chair the 14-member committee.
Phnom Penh police spokesman San Sok Seyha told The Post on February 28 that guards had been deployed at quarantine sites and temporarily closed locations linked to the community transmission.
“We have now deployed more than 600 officers to more than 70 target places. Our officers are standing by at all hours, taking the work in shifts.
“Overall, the situation is improving. It is irregular because those who must be tested and quarantined resist listening to doctors until our officers instruct them to do so,” he said.
Separately, the Council of Ministers convened a meeting chaired by Hun Sen on February 28 to review the draft law on measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other deadly infectious diseases that can affect public health.
“This draft law is designed in a context where the world is facing an increasingly devastating and large-scale outbreak of Covid-19. This outbreak has caused serious health consequences to public health, the economy and society,” it said in a statement.
As of February 28, Cambodia had recorded a total of 805 Covid-19 cases, with 328 receiving ongoing treatment.