Seven Chinese medical experts arrived in the Kingdom on Monday to help fight Covid-19 head-on, as more cases were found in the Kingdom over the last few days.
The team is led by Ai Xiang, the deputy director of the Healthcare Department at Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, who also brought along 7,000 pairs of disposable latex gloves, over 100,000 medical masks, 5,000 N95 protective masks, and 5,000 disposable work hats.
They also donated to the Kingdom 4,000 disposable boot covers, 1,300 anti-penetration gowns, 1,250 medical protective clothing, 2,080 medical face shields, 50 infrared temperature sensors, and 2,280 medical protective goggles, said the Ministry of Health in a press release.
“This is the cooperation between siblings during hardship, led by Samdech Techo, Prime Minister of Cambodia and Chinese President Xi Jinping. This shows the share of sorrow and love between Chinese and Cambodian people,” Minister Mam Bun Heng said at the Phnom Penh International Airport upon welcoming the delegation.
The Chinese embassy said on Facebook that the medical experts were the first team of its kind to be sent by China to an Asean country to share experiences in the fight against the virus. They would advise and treat the patients.
Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) director Ly Sovann said China had been a success story in combating the virus, and he hoped the visiting experts would share those experiences.
“Our officials will learn from their knowledge and experience to implement them effectively in our country.
“We will inform them of what we have done and we will seek their recommendations, including how to discover new cases, treat those who had contact with patients, and on laboratory work.
“So far, we have only one laboratory. We want to extend it to many other places and we need their advice on hospital management,” said Sovann.
He said the duration of their stay in the kingdom is unknown thus far and that Cambodia may ask them to extend it.
On Saturday, China Daily reported that the testing of vaccine for the novel coronavirus had kicked off with clinical trials. It said, “the clinical trial was filed in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry on March 17”.
Also, in its Facebook post last Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh said the Covid-19 vaccine developed by a team led by top epidemiologist Chen Wei of China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences “was approved to launch clinical trials in China on Monday”.
“China has finished the preliminary preparation work for producing safe, effective and qualified Covid-19 vaccines on a large scale according to international standards and domestic regulations,” the Embassy said.
While the vaccine’s development was highly welcomed by many, a few were concerned it would also be tested in Cambodia.
Asked if this would be so, Sovann said: “They are in the first phase of developing and testing it. Normally, testing of medicines or vaccines takes approximately six months after development, following World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.
“Before we can use that vaccine, it needs to be acknowledged by the WHO. I want to stress that while there has been news that this or that country has found the cure, no such claim has been recognized by the WHO,” he stressed.
As of Monday, the CDC said 87 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed as positive in Cambodia, with two patients having recovered.