WHO representative urges greater community participation to curb Covid-19 in Cambodia


A woman receives the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a pagoda in Kandal province,Cambodia on June 10, 2021. - AFP)

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said Sunday (June 13) that the Southeast Asian country is at a pivotal moment in its combat against Covid-19, calling for collective actions and wider community participation to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Cambodia recorded 468 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 38, 427 with 335 deaths and 31, 858 recoveries, according to the health ministry.

"We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of the virus, devastating health, and social and economic effects," Li said in a statement.

"It is crucial to find more effective ways to ensure implementation of and compliance with good public health and social measures, especially through wider community participation," she added.

Li said a survey conducted by the WHO in May found that people were fed up with the pandemic and thought that it posed low risk in their communities.

"These findings have me concerned. I fully understand that people are getting tired after the 18-month fight against the virus, but we have no other choice," she said. "We must step up our efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 and everyone has a vital role to play."

She said the Cambodian people need to refocus on the effectiveness of interventions by fully implementing and complying with public health and social measures including wearing face masks correctly, washing hands frequently and keeping physical distancing.

Li also urged people to get vaccinated when their turn come.

"Do not miss this life-saving opportunity. Covid-19 vaccines are a very powerful tool to prevent severe diseases, reduce hospitalization and save lives," she said.

"However, the vaccines alone will not end the pandemic, and we must continue to implement other public health and social measures effectively."

Cambodia launched a Covid-19 inoculation drive on Feb 10. Health ministry's secretary of state and spokesperson Or Vandine said that so far, some 2.88 million out of the 10 million targeted population have already been vaccinated in the Southeast Asian country.

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