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Ministry: No shortages of oxygen for Covid-19 care

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A batch of one million doses of coronavirus vaccines purchased from the Chinese state-owned enterprise Sinopharm arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday. Heng Chivoan

Ministry: No shortages of oxygen for Covid-19 care

As COVID-19 rages on with nearly 1,000 cases reported on July 6 alone, a senior health official said the government had secured sufficient oxygen supplies to treat patients with the disease.

Youk Sambath, Ministry of Health secretary of state, made the remarks on July 6 as the government received an additional one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine purchased from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm.

“Cambodia has no shortage of oxygen. The government and all Covid-19 sub-commissions ... are working hard to combat the disease across the country,” she said.

Sambath added that neither the capital nor the provinces were expected to face any problems due to oxygen shortages.

“We are treating more patients ... especially infected migrant workers from neighbouring countries. Therefore, more deaths due to Covid-19 in Cambodia are not due to a lack of oxygen,” she said.

Sambath also stressed that there would be no shortage of Covid-19 vaccines, with the vaccination drive moving ahead of schedule.

Prime Minister Hun Sen also said on July 6 that another four million doses from Sinovac would touch down in Cambodia on July 10.

In August, he said the Kingdom is scheduled to receive another four million doses.

“The number of vaccines Cambodia has received, including in July and August, will bring the total to about 20 million, in line with the government’s plan,” he said.

As of July 5, Cambodia had vaccinated nearly 4.6 million people including foreigners, equivalent to more than 46 per cent of the targeted 10 million, a goal now believed to be achievable by October or early November this year.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sinopharm vaccines arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday. Heng Chivoan

Meanwhile, according to Sambath, the ad-hoc national commission for Covid-19 vaccination programme and other relevant sub-commissions are examining the possibility of vaccinating those under the age of 18.

“We are reviewing the work and after we finish vaccinating the 10 million people, we will look into the effectiveness and availability of vaccines for children,” she said.

As of July 6, Cambodia had received a total of just over 12 million Covid-19 vaccines, including the Chinese government’s donation of 2.2 million Sinopharm vaccines and through the World Health Organisation-led Covax initiative in the form of 324,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines marketed as Covishield.

The rest have been acquired through purchases from China – 7.5 million doses from Sinovac and two million from Sinopharm.

In the meantime, Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng made a last call to all Phnom Penh residents aged 18 and over to get vaccinated in the two days remaining on July 7-8.

The authorities will not be responsible for any consequences they suffer from their failure to be vaccinated, he noted.

In an announcement dated July 6, Sreng said nearly all targeted people have now been vaccinated and the municipal authorities have made this announcement a few times already, so this is the last call.

He said the last point in time that vaccination will be provided in Phnom Penh is at 5pm on July 8.

“If you fail to get vaccinated [by then] at the designated places, Phnom Penh’s administration will no longer be responsible for providing you with vaccines,” Sreng said.

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