PHNOM PENH, June 1 (Xinhua) — “I received my first dose of China’s Sinovac vaccine. I’m really happy because the vaccine is very important to protect my life from this highly contagious disease,” Phnom Penh resident Touch Sokhak, 41, told Xinhua recently.
“I feel pretty fine after receiving the jab. I totally trust the safety and efficacy of the Chinese vaccines,” Sokhak said.
Cambodia’s COVID-19 cases has surged to 30,710 last Tuesday after 616 fresh infection cases were reported nationwide in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a statement.
As the Southeast Asian nation ramps up its pace of vaccinations amid a surge in new cases, China’s help has been tremendous and unforgettable, said the MoH’s secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine.
“China has been the key vaccine supplier to protect Cambodian people’s lives against the pandemic,” she said.
HELP SPEEDS UP INOCULATIONS
Cambodia began a COVID-19 inoculation drive on Feb. 10, with China being the key vaccine supplier.
Vandine said the country has so far received more than 6 million doses of vaccines including 1.7 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine, 4 million doses of Sinovac vaccine, and 324,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s Covishield jab.
To date, more than 2.6 million out of the 10 million targeted population have already been vaccinated, she said, adding that the kingdom is speeding up its pace of vaccinations, in order to reach all the 10 million targeted population by the end of this year or by the first quarter of 2022.
“The main supplier of vaccines in Cambodia is China,” Vandine told Xinhua during an interview on Friday.
“China’s effort to help Cambodia is really amazing. It’s really remarkable, it’s really unforgettable, and this is really much appreciated by the people of Cambodia,” Vandine said.
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian said it truly reflected China’s unwavering commitment to making its COVID-19 vaccines a “global public good.”
“I sincerely hope that Chinese vaccines will be able to build a healthy firewall for the Cambodian people against the COVID-19 and can play a positive role in helping Cambodia prevail over the pandemic,” he said.
PROTECT CAMBODIAN LIVES
Health workers and vaccine recipients said that Chinese vaccine is like a bulletproof vest to protect lives from the COVID-19.
“Thank China for always helping us in difficult times and we will remember this generous assistance forever,” 39-year-old Nhim Chamroeun said after receiving the first dose of Sinovac vaccine.
“I believe that the relationship between our two countries will root deeper in the hearts of our two peoples,” he added.
“The provision of vaccines by China is very valuable to protect our people’s lives and to rebuild the economy,” Chheang Somaknearika, a 22-year-old volunteer health worker at an inoculation site in Phnom Penh, told Xinhua.
“At this vaccination site, we inoculate them with China’s Sinovac vaccine,” she said. “The vaccine is safe and effective because we have never heard any reports of serious side effects after inoculations,” she added.
Vandine said both Sinopharm and Sinovac are very safe and effective and the country has not heard any reports of serious side effects after inoculations.
“We have more than 2.2 million people inoculated with Chinese vaccines, and among this number, only 101 reported some side effects, for example, fatigue, a little bit rash, palpitation, dizziness and fever, and all these disappear within one or two days only.”
TESTAMENT TO IRON FRIENDSHIP
The joint COVID-19 fight between Cambodia and China truly reflects the unbreakable iron-clad friendship between the two Asian nations, said Vandine.
China and Cambodia have been helping each other like brothers, she said. “I would like to express my deep appreciation for the support provided by the Chinese government. This vaccine is really helping Cambodian people to cope with the pandemic,” she noted.
In addition to vaccines, Chinese medicine has also been playing an important part in Cambodia’s fight against the pandemic.
In April, China donated 88,000 boxes of Lianhua Qingwen Capsules to Cambodia to help treat COVID-19 patients after the patented traditional Chinese medicine was licensed by Cambodia’s Ministry of Health.
Cambodia’s Health Minister Mam Bunheng told media last week that Lianhua Qingwen Capsules is “effective” to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.”
“Many patients with mild symptoms at the COVID-19 treatment centers have recovered due to this medicine and very few of them have developed to severe illness,” he said.
Mutual help between Cambodia and China in the time of COVID-19 pandemic has uplifted the bilateral relations to new heights.
When China was facing its difficult time in fighting the virus in early 2020, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen paid a special visit to Beijing to show solidarity, and Cambodia donated medical supplies to China.
After the situation of COVID-19 in China has been brought under control, China sent medical experts, providing medical equipment and supplies, built COVID-19 test labs, donated and sold vaccines in time to Cambodia to contain the new coronavirus.
“Cambodia and China are true friends who always help each other in difficult times,” A 22-year-old health worker Say Chanpichsakada told Xinhua. “The Cambodia-China joint COVID-19 fight should be a role model for international cooperation,” he added. Enditem
by Mao Pengfei, Nguon Sovan
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