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Cambodia reports zero new COVID-19 cases for first time in over a year

PHNOM PENH (XINHUA) – Cambodia reported no new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the first time since the third wave of community transmission broke out in February last year, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said.

“Today, it is the first time since February 20, 2021 that Cambodia has found not even a single new case of COVID-19,” he said in a special audio message.

“This is a great success that resulted from our joint efforts in the fight against COVID-19, and I’d like to thank all compatriots for participating in the anti-COVID-19 movement,” he added.

However, Cambodia is not COVID-19 free yet, as it still has 29 active cases, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Hun Sen attributed the success in the fight against COVID-19 to the kingdom’s high vaccination rates and urged eligible people to go for booster doses, the third or the fourth shots, when their turns come.

“We’d like to thank all foreign friends for providing vaccines to us, enabling us to give them free of charge to our people,” he said. “Vaccines have given us an opportunity to re-open our economy and businesses.”

A granddaughter of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen receives a dose of Sinovac coronavirus vaccine in Phnom Penh. PHOTO: AFP

The Southeast Asian nation launched a national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in February 2021, with China being the key vaccine supplier and most of the vaccines used in the kingdom are Sinovac and Sinopharm.

The country has so far vaccinated at least one dose of vaccines to almost 15 million people, or 93.7 percent of its 16 million population, the MoH said, adding that of them, 14.22 million, or 89 percent, have been fully vaccinated with two required shots.

Buoyed by high vaccination coverage, Cambodia has resumed all socioeconomic activities and re-opened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers without quarantine since November last year.

Director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia Kin Phea, said vaccines have protected lives, stabilised health system and helped restore the economy.

“The royal government of Cambodia has made the correct decision to choose China as a strategic supplier of COVID-19 vaccines so that’s why Cambodia has enough vaccines for its people,” he told Xinhua.

According to the MoH, since the pandemic hit Cambodia in January 2020, the kingdom has recorded a total of 136,262 confirmed cases with 133,177 recoveries and 3,056 deaths.