To date, 81 Cambodian migrant workers returning from Thailand have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Health, with less than half of them having recovered.
The tally included four migrant workers who tested positive on January 21 and another four who were discharged from hospital on the same day after their second test came back negative.
Separately on January 21, the ministry also recorded a new imported case – a passenger who arrived from the US via South Korea on January 6 and tested positive after a second test.
The latest cases came as the health ministry expressed hope that the Kingdom would receive Covid-19 vaccines from China before the lunar New Year holiday.
Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said: “Prime Minister Hun Sen has stated that he wanted the vaccine here prior to the lunar New Year if possible, and that takes place this year in the second week of February. If everything goes smoothly we assume we will receive it by then,” she said.
Vandine said that if Cambodia is unable to obtain the vaccine that quickly due to issues with supply, then she expects that it will arrive in early March.
“In brief, this vaccine will arrive in Cambodia soon but we don’t know exactly when. It’s just that Samdech Techo Hun Sen wanted it to arrive by that time,” she said.
Vandine also gave a brief explanation of how vaccines work to protect people against viruses.
“When we inject the Covid-19 vaccine into our body it triggers the body’s natural immune response to the virus and it learns how to fight the virus off without risking the dangers of being infected by it.
“This creates a protective barrier against the Covid-19 virus by making a person’s body prepared in advance to defend against it when it tries to infect them.
“Once we are vaccinated, if there is an outbreak of the Covid-19 virus we will either be immune from infection or in some cases infection might occur but it will be a very mild case and we won’t risk damage to our organs due to the body’s immune response. This is a very important point,” she said.
Vandine added that if the use of the Covid-19 vaccine did not prevent an infection in some cases, it would still render any infection harmless.
However, she cautioned that even if a person is vaccinated, they should remember that until everyone else is vaccinated they must continue to follow Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
As of January 21, a day that saw America pass the grim milestone of 400,000 Covid-19 deaths, Cambodia had recorded a total of 453 Covid-19 cases with 396 recoveries and zero deaths.