PM to China’s Wang: Kingdom still sees Covid fight as priority

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen (right) shakes hands with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Phnom Penh on August 3. SPM

Prime Minister Hun Sen, at an August 4 meeting with Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, said that while Cambodia had succeeded in the initial Covid-19 fight, the continuing battle remained a priority.

Hun Sen thanked China for donating Covid-19 vaccines to Cambodia to assist in the fight against the disease, with the Kingdom ranked number one for its vaccination rollout.

“Though we have been successful, the battle against Covid-19 remains our priority, with us especially continuing to work on public health. We continue, in particular, to do whatever we can to be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines in Cambodia in the future,” he said.

The premier also spoke of economic recovery and the reopening of socio-economic activities, with Cambodia remaining able to export goods and increase people’s incomes.

He made mention of strategies for 2024-2026, saying the Kingdom is prepared to purchase more than 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in the future to ensure it continues to be protected against the virus.

Wang told Hun Sen at the meeting that China will lend the Kingdom a hand whenever it is needed.

Or Vandine, Ministry of Health spokeswoman and head of the National Covid-19 vaccination committee, renewed her calls for people not to ignore the threat of the coronavirus or drop their guard.

“Complacency is a major factor in surges of Covid-19 transmission. Everywhere you go, please practise the three dos and three don’ts, plus get your booster doses on time,” she said.

According to the health ministry, as of August 3 Cambodia had vaccinated 94.6 per cent of its estimated population of 16 million, with more than 9.7 million people having received a third dose.

More than 3.6 million people have received fourth doses, while nearly 500,000 people have received a fifth.

Separately, with Cambodia having recorded the first imported case of monkeypox – a Nigerian man who fled Thailand despite his positive test – the government and people of Russia on August 4 provided the Kingdom with 500 test kits to help curb the virus spread.

“Today, our bonds of friendships and cooperation create another new opportunity in responding to the WHO’s declaration of monkeypox being a global health emergency of international concerns on July 23.

“This is a gesture showing brotherly sentiments and the solidarity of the government and the people of Russia with the Cambodian people in circumstances where the whole world is encountering many unprecedented challenges,” health minister Mam Bun Heng said.

He said Cambodia is ready to respond should there be an outbreak.