Cambodian PM urges public to receive booster shots

Phnom Penh, April 25 (IANS) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the public to get their Covid-19 booster shots, saying that the jabs were necessary to strengthen their immunity against the highly contagious disease.

The Southeast Asian nation launched a national vaccination drive against the disease in February 2021, and so far, 14.88 million people, or 93 per cent of the country’s total population, have received at least one shot, reports Xinhua news agency.

While some 14.14 million, or 88 per cent, have been fully vaccinated with two required doses, 8.22 million, or 51 per cent, got a third dose, and 1.36 million, or 8.5 per cent, a fourth dose.

Hun Sen said all eligible Cambodians must receive at least three vaccine shots to strengthen their immunity and advised the health authorities to focus their vaccination campaign on garment factory employees, construction workers, market vendors and students.

“I’d like to appeal to all people in Cambodia to get their third doses in order to strengthen herd immunity and ensure that our full reopening will not see any setbacks,” he said in an audio message.

Cambodia has fully resumed its socioeconomic activities and reopened its borders to vaccinated travellers without quarantine since last November.

The Prime Minister said that thanks to the effectiveness of vaccines, Cambodia did not see any sign of Covid-19 resurgence after the kingdom celebrated its traditional new year from April 14 to 16, during which some 4.6 million tourists travelled nationwide.

“During the Khmer New Year, a lot of people were in close contact with each other, but there were no (mass) infections,” he said.

In the last 24 hours, the country registered 16 new Covid-19 cases with new zero fatalities, bringing the country’s confirmed total cases since the pandemic began to 136,216, with 3,056 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.