Prime Minister Hun Sen has reiterated his call for the public to remain vigilant against Covid-19, saying that although the Delta and Alpha variants had disappeared, the highly transmissible Omiron strain remains in active circulation.
The premier highlighted the fact that the Kingdom has recorded over 800 Omicron cases since it was first detected on December 15, whereas cases of Alpha and Delta variants have all but vanished. He also stated that China will provide Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia “whenever” Cambodia needs them.
“In Cambodia, Delta and Alpha have disappeared. All remaining cases are Omicron. Of course, Omicron isn’t as deadly but it spreads very fast,” he said, adding that it had been nearly a month since Cambodia reported any Covid-19 deaths.
Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over the groundbreaking ceremony for a new overpass on National Road 5 in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district.
On Covid-19 vaccines, he said the Chinese government pledged to donate an additional five million doses and that Cambodia has also placed purchase orders for another three million doses from China. All eight million doses are expected to arrive during the first half of this year.
“Chinese ambassador to Cambodia [Wang Wentian] met with [deputy prime minister] Hor Namhong and confirmed that China will donate vaccines to Cambodia whenever the Kingdom’s need arises.
“Listen clearly to these words from our Chinese friends. If they say they will be helping Cambodia as the need arises, that means that they can provide us with the exact amounts we need and amounts we can purchase,” he said.
Currently, Cambodia still has more than nine million doses in its national strategic stockpile. The government is accelerating vaccinations with booster shots and now nearly six million people have received them so far, while the fourth-dose administrations began on January 14 in Phnom Penh.
“I’m holding back 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines at the request of [Ministry of Health spokeswoman] Or Vandine. They are waiting for cold chain equipment to arrive for transportation and administration of the doses in the provinces. The other 1.7 million doses have been administered in Phnom Penh,” he said.
Cambodia does not have any problems regarding access to vaccines and medical staff will administer them to all people who come to receive them. Hun Sen said Cambodia will not reverse course after the country reopened its economic activities in November last year.
However, to make the open economy sustainable, it will require vigilance from all people, and adherence to health measures and especially the three dos and three don’ts.
He said Omicron originally came to Cambodia through passengers, but now the imported cases are insignificant compared to the increases in local transmission.
As of January 30, Cambodia had vaccinated 89.70 per cent of its estimated 16 million population with at least the first dose.