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More Covid jabs arrive, Indian vaccines sought

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Sinovac vaccines arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on May 23. Heng Chivoan

More Covid jabs arrive, Indian vaccines sought

Another 500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines out of the 4.5 million total doses purchased from China will arrive in Cambodia on June 8 to bolster vaccination efforts, according senior Ministry of Health officials.

Health ministry secretary of state Yok Sambath said the 500,000 doses arriving June 8 will be used in Phnom Penh and other high-risk provinces in accordance with ministry planning.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in late May that Cambodia would receive an additional 4.5 million doses of vaccines this month, all supplied by China. He said the vaccines would arrive continuously to meet the goal of vaccinating 10 million people nationwide.

Or Vandine, health ministry spokeswoman and chair of the national Covid-18 vaccination commission, tweeted on June 5 that Covid-19 vaccines would save lives, but everyone should still adhere to health guidelines including the “three protections and don’ts”.

“If you do not protect yourself properly, the Covid-19 virus could still infect you and then you will spread it to others,” she said.

Separately, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Porn Moniroth told Indian ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Khobragade that the Kingdom still needs more vaccines from India.

During a meeting with Khobragade via video conference on June 3, Porn Moniroth also praised India’s vaccine production capabilities and the assistance the Indian government has already given to Cambodia to help in the fight against Covid-19.

“Cambodia still needs more vaccines and hopes that India will continue to supply more vaccines to Cambodia in the near future,” he said.

In response, Khobragade said that despite the difficult circumstances that India is facing with the Covid-19 virus, the Indian government will continue to maintain its commitments to Cambodia and cooperate in the fight against the pandemic.

“The Indian government continues to strengthen and promote cooperation in other areas as well, such as facilitating foreign trade, promoting private investment from India to Cambodia and financing cooperation for physical and digital infrastructure through bilateral, regional and ASEAN-India mechanisms,” she said.

To date, Cambodia has received over six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines via donations and purchases coming from China and through the World Health Organisation’s Covax initiative.

As of June 5, Cambodia had vaccinated over 2.7 million people, or 27.35 per cent of the government’s target number of 10 million.

In the capital, three more districts – Daun Penh, Chroy Changvar and Prek Pnov – will begin vaccinating residents across 21 communes at 14 locations with first and second doses starting June 10, according to Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng’s announcement.

On June 6, Sreng said vaccinations for people aged 18 and older will begin in the three districts starting on June 10 through June 23. Second doses will be administered from June 25 to July 8.


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