Health ministry says Covid surges mostly due to carelessness

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Medical workers test vendors at Central Market – or Pshar Thom Thmey – for the novel coronavirus, to prevent another Covid-19 outbreak that could see the lemon-domed landmark shuttered once more, in the capital's Daun Penh district last week. Hong Menea

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said Cambodia has brought the Covid-19 situation largely under control but transmission of the virus was surging slightly because some locales and individuals were not properly observing preventive measures.

Vandine made the remarks during a ceremony to close the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Stung Treng province on September 19.

“At this time [with] the situation of Covid-19 transmission, we have brought it under control in a timely manner. But if we talk about transmissions, they are surging a bit.

“Now we see that in some areas, some provinces, there is still person-to-person transmission after we have already administered Covid-19 vaccines there,” she said.

Vandine reminded the public not to be negligent and not to totally depend on protection by vaccinations since breakthrough infections – especially with the highly contagious Delta variant – are known to frequently occur though they are typically far less severe in nature than the illnesses experienced by unvaccinated people.

“Although we have already been vaccinated, if we do not continue to practice the three do’s and three don’ts, then the transmission of the virus will continue to go from one person to another,” she said.

Vandine said aside from Delta, which is now widespread in Cambodia, she was greatly concerned that the possibly vaccine-evading Mu variant could also be imported to Cambodia at some point in the future since the variant has now been detected in as many as 49 countries.

Health minister Mam Bun Heng last weekend advised municipal and provincial governors to continue educating the public about preventive health measures after the recent surge in Covid-19 transmissions.

“Recently, there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in some provinces. They have to pay more attention and push a health education campaign with the motto ‘Preventing the Spread of Covid-19 is Everyone’s Responsibility’,” he said.

According to Vandine, Cambodia had vaccinated about 98.27 per cent of the target adult population of 10 million as of September 19.

“This progress will move forward as we continue to vaccinate people every day and I expect that by October we will be able to reach the target of 10 million people,” she said.