Sat, 10 Jun 2023

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday began providing the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines to priority groups in capital Phnom Penh as the Omicron variant has spread into the community.

The priority groups include leaders of the government, the Senate, the National Assembly, frontline doctors, government officials, the army and police, local authorities and the elderly, the health ministry said.

Staff of embassies and both national and international organizations as well as journalists and celebrities are also among the list to receive the fourth shots, it added.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen took his fourth jab on Friday morning at his residence in southern Takhmao City and urged people to get their shots when their turns come.

"Today, my wife and I received booster doses against COVID-19. There is no better choice than vaccination, along with the three dos and three don'ts health measure," he wrote on his official Facebook page.

The three dos include wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently and maintaining the physical distancing of 1.5 meters, while the three don'ts are avoiding confined and enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and avoiding touching each other.

"Please, my compatriots, go and receive vaccines, both the basic two doses and the booster shots, in order to protect ourselves, our families, our villages, our communes and our nation," Hun Sen said.

The southeast Asian nation confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the health ministry said, adding that all are the Omicron variant, with six local infections and four imported cases.

Since the pandemic began, Cambodia has recorded a total of 120,728 cases, with 3,015 deaths and 117,072 recoveries, the ministry said.

Cambodia has reopened socio-economic activities in all areas since November, buoyed by its high vaccination rates.

The country has so far administered at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines to 14.3 million people, or 89.4 percent of its 16 million population, the ministry said.

Of them, 13.7 million, or 85.6 percent, were fully vaccinated with two required shots, and 4.39 million, or 27.4 percent, had taken a third dose or booster shot, it added.

Most of the vaccines used in the country's inoculation campaign are China's Sinovac and Sinopharm.

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