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Kingdom tops Covid recovery list: Nikkei

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People come to get the fifth dose of Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district on June 9. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom tops Covid recovery list: Nikkei

Cambodia has reached the top ranking in the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index as the Kingdom is the furthest along on its way back to business as usual, according to Nikkei Asia.

The Ministry of Health had reported zero new Covid-19 cases for nearly two months before the virus was detected again on June 28 and has since then continued to be found in a small number of people.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has constantly reminded the public to avoid becoming complacent and to always practise preventive measures – or the mask mandate would return.

The Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index assesses countries and regions on their containment of the virus, vaccine rollouts and social mobility. Their ranking also takes into account a country’s infection and death rates, vaccination rates and how many restrictions it has in place.

“In the ranking for June, Cambodia climbed to the top spot after lingering at No2 and No3 since March. The country recorded zero new cases for 52 days until June 28,” the report said.

The Kingdom has scored 78 points at the top of the list, with runner up Vietnam at 76.5 points. Costa Rica, South Korea and Qatar ranked third, fourth, and fifth, scoring 73, 72.5 and 72 points respectively. Barbados was at the bottom of the list with just 39 points.

Vietnam came second in the rankings after jumping from 14th place in May. The rise in rank came due to the falling number of infections and deaths, while other countries in Southeast Asia have also seen improvements in their recovery, the report said.

Ministry of Heath spokeswoman Or Vandine said she was delighted to see Cambodia has reached the No1 ranking.

“Congratulations! Cambodia is ranked first on the Covid-19 Recovery Index according to this publication,” she tweeted on July 9, sharing the Nikkei Asia news article.

In the face of the recurrence of Covid-19, Prime Minister Hun Sen has renewed his calls for everyone to be highly vigilant against the spread of the virus.

“To all public officials, armed forces and the general public: Please go get vaccinated with booster jabs to prevent the spread of the virus, especially the new variants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, as well as to maintain herd immunity,” he said at a Cabinet meeting on July 8.

He said that no matter how successfully Cambodia had dealt with the pandemic, the country must still always be mindful about the disease, with a priority placed on vaccinations.

Currently, Cambodia has received nearly 53 million doses of vaccines, both through purchases and donations. Currently, around eight million doses of vaccines are in the national inventory, with about 20 million more yet to be delivered.

Cambodia also recently signed an agreement to purchase 104 million doses of Sinovac vaccines manufactured in Cambodia to be used for three years from 2024 to 2026.

The Kingdom’s success in dealing with Covid-19 has also been praised by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Last week, Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, visited Cambodia and lauded the Kingdom’s achievement. During the visit, Kasai met with many government officials and healthcare workers dealing with various kinds of disease, particularly Covid-19.

“I visited Roluoss Health Center in Kratie province where young staff shared their experience of responding to Covid-19, including how they went house-to-house to reach vulnerable communities with lifesaving vaccines. I was so impressed with their motivation to serve the community,” he tweeted.

“Cambodia is committed to maintaining the impressive Covid-19 vaccination rollout. The virus won’t disappear any time soon so it’s critical that all countries keep this vital work going to save lives and prevent wide scale social disruption,” he said in another tweet.

He also said he appreciated Cambodia’s healthcare workers for their motivation, commitment and professionalism during the pandemic.

Kasai also meet with Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth on July 6.

“I truly appreciate the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to investing in health, which is the foundation of a prosperous society and economy,” he said, referring to Pornmoniroth by his other title.

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