WORLD Cambodian leaders confident in Chinese COVID-19 vaccine after receiving first doses

WORLD

Cambodian leaders confident in Chinese COVID-19 vaccine after receiving first doses

Xinhua

14:42, February 12, 2021

Workers transfer the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 7, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus

Cambodian leaders are quite confident in the safety and efficacy of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine after receiving their first doses during an inoculation drive launched on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tea Banh said the Sinopharm vaccine is very safe and highly effective, and used widely in China and other countries.

"The Sinopharm vaccine is currently going popular for its high safety and efficacy," he said Wednesday at a press conference.

Hun Manet, the eldest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 10, 2021. (Photo by Sovannara/Xinhua)High-ranking government officials and military leaders were among the first to be inoculated, showcasing Cambodia's trust and confidence in the vaccine.

CONFIDENCE BOOSTED

Speaking after receiving his dose at the Calmette Hospital in the capital city of Phnom Penh on Wednesday morning, Hun Manet, the eldest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, said he believes in the safety of the Sinopharm vaccine.

"I'm present here, came here first and got the first dose of the vaccine, I'm completely confident in this vaccine," said Hun Manet, also a deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and the commander of the Royal Cambodian Army.

"The injection was painless, and I feel more confident that I have a protection system in my body against the COVID-19," he said, who urged people to be vaccinated and expressed his gratitude to China for providing the jabs to the kingdom.

Cambodia has so far registered a total of 478 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with zero deaths and 459 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health.

Justice Minister Koeut Rith was also among the first group of people who were inoculated.

"A vaccine is the best defense solution for us, for our family and our community," he said. "With the vaccine, we almost have no more worries about the spread of this virus."

Workers transfer the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 7, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

A HEALTHY CITIZENRY

Vong Pisen, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said the vaccine is a strategic product to protect the Cambodian people, and he thanked China for providing the vaccine.

"I'm good after getting my first dose of the jab and see no problem with my health," he told Xinhua after his inoculation at the Preah Ket Mealea Hospital, a military hospital in Phnom Penh, on Wednesday afternoon.

Ek Tha, standing vice-chairman of the Cambodian government's spokesperson unit, said he was pleased to be inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine and was confident in its safety and efficacy.

"I need to get vaccinated because I strongly believe that if citizens are protected from COVID-19 and are healthy, it will contribute to the well-being of the community and the country's social and economic development," he told Xinhua after getting his first dose at the Preah Ang Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh.

"Since no one can see COVID-19 with the naked eye, it's necessary for people to get inoculated," he said.

Chea Monyrith, president of the Chinese Cambodian Evolution Researcher Association, said Thursday that the launch of the vaccination drive clearly showed that Cambodia made health and safety a top priority.

"Many high-profile figures have got vaccinated, this truly reflects their absolute confidence in the quality and efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine," he told Xinhua.

Monyrith praised China for its kindness and generosity for sharing vaccines with other countries. "The generous and humanitarian gesture of China will be undoubtedly inscribed on the history page of the Cambodia-China relations and remembered in the hearts of the Cambodian people for good."

A medical worker holds a dose of China's COVID-19 vaccine in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 10, 2021. (Photo : Xinhua)

NEW HOPE

Cambodia approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 4.

According to the Ministry of Health, priority groups for vaccination include frontline health workers, government members and officials, municipal and provincial governors, armed forces, and journalists, among others.

Pon Panha, a student at Beltei International University in Phnom Penh, said that people had been suffering from this pandemic for a year before Chinese vaccines brought hope for a return to normalcy and a swift economic recovery.

"The vaccine is very important to curb the spread of COVID-19, to protect Cambodian people's lives, and to restore the economy as fast as possible," he said.

Chea Huykong, a 37-year-old vendor of Chinese New Year decorations and items in Phnom Penh, told Xinhua that her business is recovering. "I hope that in the Chinese New Year, we will be able to return to normal life."

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