AKP Phnom Penh, The Government of the People’s Republic of China has provided 1 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 for the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to be administered to about 500,000 people.
The humanitarian donation was made through the Chinese and Cambodian Ministries of National Defence, announced last night Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
In his voice message, Samdech Techo Hun Sen explained that he previously affirmed to receive only the vaccine certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), but in the current coronavirus widespread context, it is no longer possible for Cambodia to wait, that is why the RGC decided to use the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moreover, he added, the China-made vaccine has already been administered to Chinese government leaders, Indonesian president and people, and millions others around the world.
“We cannot wait any longer because of the need to protect the health of our people. Yesterday, there were up to 15 new infections, and today 10 more positive cases, all from neighbouring Thailand. Therefore, we need to use this vaccine for the protection of our people,” the Cambodian Premier underlined.
According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, we have not known the validity or effectiveness of the China-made vaccine or that of other countries yet, but Chinese leaders have been vaccinated since October 2020.
“Up to now, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is very healthy and travel to almost everywhere. Now he is visiting our Southeast Asian region, after the visit to Africa. Therefore, the experience of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, one of China’s key leaders, gives us confidence that there is no risk to human life for China-made vaccine,” he said.
Samdech Techo Prime Minister stressed that Cambodia will use China’s Sinopharm vaccine because it is easier to store, i.e. at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius above zero, compared with the vaccine of some other countries which is required to be kept at a temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius. In addition, it is easy to transport the vaccine from China to Cambodia.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his gratitude to China for the humanitarian donation, adding that through the support for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Cambodia will use the vaccine for all frontline units.
Apart from the China’s donation of one million doses of vaccine, Cambodia will continue to seek more doses for 10 million or up to 13 million people, if there is a need to vaccinate up to 80 percent of the total population, he said.
The first priority groups to be vaccinated are those around the King, the Prime Minister, the Senate and National Assembly Presidents, as well as medical staff, teachers, armed forces, judicial police, sanitation personnel, motorcycle, tricycle taxi and taxi drivers, according to the Premier.
“The vaccination will be free of charge and on a voluntary basis,” confirmed Samdech Techo Hun Sen, calling on people to continue to adhere to the Ministry of Health’s health preventive measures against COVID-19 despite the vaccination.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press