With the Covid-19 crisis “far from over”, Prime Minister Hun Sen has reminded the public of the importance of making sure their vaccinations remain up to date.

The remarks came as he met with nearly 20,000 garment workers from seven factories in Samrong Tong and Kong Pisei districts of Kampong Speu province on June 17.

“We are continuing to push our drive for Covid-19 vaccinations. Please don’t forget to make sure your booster shots are up to date as Covid is far from over. Even though the World Health Organisation [WHO] no longer classifies the virus as a public health emergency, it still recommends administering booster inoculations,” he said.

He added that vaccination remains the most effective protection against the virus.

“When it is time, you should go and get your boosters,” he said.

On a positive note, Hun Sen said the lifting of testing requirement for large gatherings remain intact as the threat from Covid-19 has largely abated. Because of the “excellent timing” of the lifting, he added, not only could the Kingdom host the “remarkably successful” SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games but he himself could safely get in close contact with the workers.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, who also serves as head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19, echoed calls for people to remain vigilant regardless, as new variants of the virus could potentially lead to another outbreak of community infections.

In a June 12 letter, he suggested several health measures that people should follow and urged them to be prepared for a possible re-emergence of the virus.

The letter said individual and community immunity may decline six months after a round of vaccinations, so people should make sure they sought out booster jabs as soon as they were eligible.

“The authorities are continuing to improve preparedness for possible future occurrences,” it said.

According to the health ministry, as of June 17, around 95.57 per cent of the estimated population of 16 million had been inoculated. Since the onset of the pandemic up until June 18, Cambodia had recorded a total of 138,882 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 135,793 recoveries and 3,056 deaths.