Cambodia's outbreak stabilizes as vaccine shots surpass 2 million

Covid-19 patients who were undergoing treatment at Chea Sim Samaky highschool in Phnom Penh have now recovered and been discharged. Phnom Penh Post/ANN

PHNOM PENH, May 18 (dpa/Phnom Penh Post-ANN): Cambodia appears to be turning the tide against an aggressive Covid-19 outbreak, with daily case numbers under 400 for the fifth consecutive day.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported 345 new coronavirus infections, continuing a downward trend after a peak of around 1,000 daily cases in early May.

At the same time, the ministry reported 1,337 Covid-19 patients were treated and discharged.

The encouraging trend comes as the country pushes ahead with a vaccine rollout, recently hitting 2 million people who have received at least one shot.

Cambodia finished its first year of the pandemic with less than 500 cases and no recorded virus-linked fatalities.

An outbreak in February involving a more virulent Covid-19 variant has led to more than 22,000 cases and 156 deaths.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, meanwhile, has called on municipal and provincial governors to further strengthen their preventive health measures as new Covid-19 cases have decreased considerably in Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal province but apparently increased in other parts of the country.

“The lockdown imposed on Phnom Penh and Kandal province’s Takmao town has provided us with some experience and taught us some lessons that could be applied to other provinces if necessary, ” he said.

Bun Heng added that all provincial governors have to enforce the law on the control of Covid-19 and other contagious diseases and work to raise awareness about preventive health measures with their community members.

Over the last few days, the community outbreak in the capital and Kandal province has apparently begun to subside, but the number of cases found in Takeo province has been increasing.

More than 100 people there have now tested positive for the virus, most of them garment workers. On May 16 alone, Takeo province recorded 51 new infections.

Takeo Provincial Hall’s administration director Meas Uy said on May 17 that the authorities were prepared to impose a lockdown on any Covid-19 hotspots there.

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