Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WHO: Collective actions determine success or failure of Covid fight

WHO: Collective actions determine success or failure of Covid fight

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
WHO representative to Cambodia Dr Li Ailan hold a press conference with Ministry of Health earlier this year. Hean Rangsey

WHO: Collective actions determine success or failure of Covid fight

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia on July 30 called on people from all walks of life to make a concerted effort to stamp out the spread of the novel coronavirus.

This comes as the Delta variant triggers a spike in hospitalisations and injects fresh urgency into pandemic response and prevention efforts.

SARS-CoV-2 – the pathogen that causes Covid-19 – is widely circulating in the community, driving up daily confirmed case and fatality counts to relatively high levels, the WHO noted in a statement.

The UN health agency sounded the alarm over the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which it pointed out has been detected among migrant workers returning through land borders and has now spread to the local community.

WHO representative to Cambodia Dr Li Ailan said: “I urge everyone to take every necessary and recommended action to protect themselves, their families and others from getting infected by the virus.

“Our collective actions will determine our success or failure in fighting against Covid-19. We must stand together and act together to save lives, protect the health system and minimise disruption to the society,” she said.

According to the WHO, the Delta variant is replacing the strains of the coronavirus predominant in previous waves, leading to a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.

The Delta strains have brought widespread devastation around the world, it said, warning that if SARS-CoV-2 is not suppressed, the virus could naturally evolve into even more dangerous variants and mutations.

Dr Li added: “We are racing against new variants. We must act today, and we must act fast to have no regrets tomorrow.”

She stressed that the Kingdom is at a “critical moment”, which she said has necessitated difficult decisions by the government regarding the implemention of prevention and control strategies.

Dr Li offered as an example the ongoing lockdown of Siem Reap and the seven provinces along the Thai frontier – Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear.

The WHO underlined the need for “an effective combination of risk-based public health and social measures” to stave off transmission, including a targeted halt to non-essential travel and restriction of social gatherings, especially those indoors.

It urged the public to avoid high-risk “3C settings” – crowded, close-contact and confined – unless personal exposure can be significantly reduced, but opined that “safer businesses” should be allowed to continue operations, with the proper risk-mitigation measures in place.

The agency commended government efforts to reign in the spread of the disease, as well as the vaccination rollout, calling on the public to follow preventive guidelines, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, wash hands with soap/hand rub frequently, avoid crowded, confined and closed spaces, avoid gatherings, and stay at home if you feel sick and seek medical assistance from nearest health facility immediately,” the WHO said.

As of July 31, there has no update on number of Delta cases in Cambodia, but the Ministry of Health earlier revealed that 75 cases had been detected as of March 31, warning that some were local transmissions without a clear source of infection.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.