PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hu Sen on Thursday was vaccinated with a vaccine provided by the World Health Organization (COVAX) as the vaccination program for up to two-thirds of the country’s population was completed by the end of the year.
Hu Sen received a shot donated by India, one of 324,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which arrived on Tuesday.
His vaccination comes as Cambodia battles a new wave of infections that have had a major impact on the Chinese community in Sihanoukville, which is part of the country’s նավ huge Chinese investment և construction projects.
Hu Sen said travel from the city was limited.
A total of 31 new cases of the virus were reported in Cambodia on Thursday, with a total of 909 since the outbreak began.
The latest outbreak was found in a foreign resident who broke the hotel quarantine on February 4 and went to a nightclub. This led to a number of infections, forcing the government to announce a two-week closure on February 20 of all Phnom Penh public schools, cinemas, bars and entertainment venues.
Cambodia, which has not yet reported the deaths of the virus, received its first shipment of 600,000 doses on February 7, a Chinese-made vaccine donated by Beijing for 1 million doses. The country launched its vaccination program on February 10, starting with Hun Sen’s sons, government ministers and officials.
Hun Sen received the Indian-made vaccine at the age of 68. In China, the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine has only been approved for people aged 18-59, as it was the target population in clinical trials. Although there is no data on its effectiveness for its age groups, other countries can use it for the elderly at their discretion.
China is Cambodia’s largest investor, Hun Sen’s closest political partner, shunned by some Western countries who see his government as repressive. Cambodia, for its part, defends Beijing’s geopolitical position in international forums on issues such as China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Hun Sen said earlier this month that Cambodia was trying to reserve a dose of 20 million vaccines to vaccinate 10 million people, about two-thirds of its population.
In addition to the Chinese donation, Australia has announced a $ 28 million grant to purchase 3 million doses, and Cambodia is going to receive a total of 7 million shares through the COVAX initiative.