Prime Minister Hun Sen told the public that with new Covid-19 sub-variants still being detected, everyone must attend to health measures to prevent infections, saying that it is necessary to remain vigilant and continue to test people for the virus before they attend any event.

Hun Sen made the remarks as he presided over a January 23 graduation ceremony for nearly 7,000 students from the Cambodian University for Specialties.

“We need to take a rapid test to avoid any risks that can occur as part of the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. We have won some battles against Covid-19, but we have not yet completely won the war,” he said.

Like all viruses, Covid-19 can mutate into new forms or variants. To date these variants have tended towards increased transmissibility with lesser severity of disease, but it is possible that one could emerge that is deadlier.

“Vaccination is an important part of curbing the spread or preventing a severe illness or deaths. In the region and the world alike, there remain hundreds of deaths per day, so Cambodia must remain vigilant,” he said.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman and head of the national Covid-19 vaccination committee, said the majority of people have been vaccinated, but some are still hesitant.

“I have renewed my call for people to come and get vaccinated against Covid-19 to protect their health and lives. Please don’t worry about a lack of vaccines. We have adequate supplies, but more importantly you have to come to get shots when it is your turn,” she said.

According to the ministry, as of January 22 Cambodia had vaccinated 95.34 per cent of the estimated population of 16 million. More than 10.47 million people have received their third doses, over 4.5 million their fourth, around 1.4 million their fifth, and over 50,000 their sixth.