Chinese vaccines save lives, drive economic recovery in Cambodia

Updated: March 16, 2022 Source: Xinhua News Agency
fontLarger fontSmaller

A little girl receives her first dose of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Feb. 23, 2022. (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)

China's Sinovac and Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines save lives in Cambodia and stabilize the country's health system.

Health Ministry's director-general and spokesman noted that Chinese vaccines also have helped Cambodia to achieve strong herd immunity.

PHNOM PENH, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese COVID-19 vaccines have not only protected lives and stabilized the health system, but also helped boost economic recovery in Cambodia, officials and experts said here on Tuesday.

Cambodia has fully resumed its socio-economic activities in all sectors and reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine since mid-November last year after most of its population have been inoculated against the COVID-19.

Most of the jabs used in the Southeast Asian country's immunization campaign are China's Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Health Ministry's director-general and spokesman Hok Kim Cheng expressed his high appreciation for joint cooperation between Cambodia and China in the fight against the pandemic, saying that Chinese vaccines have helped Cambodia to achieve strong herd immunity.

"With China's timely and regular supply of vaccines, Cambodia has moved very fast to vaccinate our people against the disease, and now, our vaccination rates are very high if compared to some countries in the region," he told Xinhua. "Chinese vaccines are essential for Cambodia to save people's lives and to stabilize our health system."

A woman receives her fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Jan. 14, 2022. (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)

Kim Cheng said vaccines are highly effective at preventing infection, serious illness and death.

To date, Cambodia has administered one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 14.75 million people, or 92.2 percent of its 16-million population, the health ministry said.

Of them, 13.88 million, or 86.7 percent, have been fully vaccinated with two required shots, 7.67 million, or 48 percent, have taken a third dose or booster shot, and 1.09 million, or 6.8 percent, have got a fourth dose, the ministry added.

Besides vaccines, traditional Chinese medicines have also played a crucial role in treating COVID-19 patients in Cambodia, said Ngy Mean Heng, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department.

"Chinese medicines are effective in treating COVID-19 patients. Many patients have recovered from the disease after using them," he told Xinhua.

Chinese patent medicines, namely Lianhua Qingwen capsules and Huashi Baidu granules, have been licensed to use for treating COVID-19 symptoms in Cambodia.

Mean Heng said there is no doubt that the joint COVID-19 fight will inject new impetus into the building of a community with a shared future between Cambodia and China.

Children escorted by their parents wait for their first doses of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines at an inoculation site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Feb. 23, 2022. (Photo by Phearum/Xinhua)

Royal Academy of Cambodia economics researcher Ky Sereyvath said Chinese vaccines have helped drive economic recovery in Cambodia.

"Vaccines have not only protected Cambodian people's lives, but also help revive our socio-economic activities in all areas," he told Xinhua. "As an economist, I foresee that Cambodia's economy will grow at a higher rate this year thanks to our country's full reopening."

Cambodia's economy is projected to grow around 5.6 percent in 2022, up from 3 percent in 2021, buoyed by garment export, agriculture, global demand and foreign investors' confidence, according to the ministry of economy and finance.

In 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the kingdom's economy contracted by 3.1 percent, which was the slowest growth since 1994.

Editor: Su Dan