Cambodia receives new batch of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

PHNOM PENH, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A new batch of COVID-19 vaccines Cambodia purchased from China's pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech arrived here on Friday, giving the country greater possibility to vaccinate its citizens against the virus.

Photo: CCTV

The vaccine touched down at the Phnom Penh International Airport on flight CZ8083, which was operated by China Southern Airlines.

Present at the airport for the handover of the vaccine were Cambodian Economy and Finance Ministry's permanent secretary of state Vongsey Vissoth, Health Ministry's secretary of state Yok Sambath and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vissoth said Cambodia's acquisition of Sinovac vaccine is a testament to the close relationship between the two countries.

"The special bond of Cambodia-China relations has played an invaluable role to ensure that the vaccines are available on time for Cambodia to vaccinate our citizens," he said.

He expressed his profound gratitude to China for providing vaccines to Cambodia, saying that vaccination, along with other health measures, would protect Cambodian people's lives, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide a boost to Cambodia's economic recovery.

Ambassador Wang said the vaccine's arrival marked another milestone in the China-Cambodia relations in the fight against COVID-19.

"I sincerely hope that the Chinese vaccines will be able to build a healthy firewall for the Cambodian people against the COVID-19," he said.

Cambodia officially approved the emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine on Feb. 12.

Cambodia has planned to vaccinate at least 10 million of its 16 million population.

The kingdom started its anti-COVID-19 inoculation drive on Feb. 10. As of Thursday, some 354,087 people in priority groups had been vaccinated against the virus, according to a government report.

The Southeast Asian nation has officially registered a total of 1,968 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with eight deaths and 1,074 recoveries, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.