Here is the ASEAN status as of Wednesday, 7am, February 2, 2021
Brunei had +0 new cases, has a total of 180 with 3 deaths.
There has been +1 new positive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cambodia. The tally is at 466. No deaths. Total recovered at 446.
Royal Government committed to securing 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines
The Royal Government of Cambodia is committed to find 20 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 for 10 million Cambodian people, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday .
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Bakheng Water Treatment Plant and the inauguration ceremony of Chamkar Mon Water Treatment Plant in Phnom Penh, the Premier pointed out that in the beginning, Cambodia planned for 26 million doses of vaccine for 13 million people, but as it is required to vaccinate only 60 or 70 percent of the total population, only 20 million doses of vaccines will be needed.
Hun Sen said no vaccine has arrived Cambodia yet, but 600,000 of the 1 million doses donated by China will arrive here this month.
According to the Premier, Cambodia has access to some 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine: 1 million doses are from China’s assistance, 7 million doses from COVAX, 1 million doses others through purchase via COVAX, and the rest 3 million doses from Australia’s financial assistance.
He stressed that to be able to vaccinate 10 million people, Cambodia will look for more vaccines from China, India, UK, and the EU. Heng Panha – AKP
Selfish vs selfless acts: PM slams EC vaccine block, Australia ups dose grants
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday blasted the European Commission (EC) for using its power to block shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in what is considered a selfish attempt to ensure that pre-paid for doses being produced are not distributed globally until they are delivered to the union.
His censure comes as Australia selflessly upped its vaccine support for Cambodia yesterday by signing a $28 million grant for the purchase of doses for 1.5 million Cambodians.
This is in addition to the about $360 million which Australia has already paid to the WHO-led Covax initiative to supply vaccines to developing countries, including Cambodia.
Mr Hun Sen made his remark after the EC on Friday announced that it will tighten the export rules of vaccines produced in the 27 EU countries through a “vaccine export transparency mechanism”. The scheme, supposed to be used until the end of March, would control shipments to non-EU countries and ensure any exporting company based in the EU first submits its plans to national authorities.
“We had to design this mechanism to bring transparency – but also to avoid fragmentation within our internal market,” said the commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis.
“We need to be efficient and ensure vaccines reach people across the EU,” he said.
In response, Mr Hun Sen, while speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant in Phnom Penh yesterday morning, criticised the mechanism. Addressing EU Ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno, who was also at the ceremony, Mr Hun Sen described the block’s barrier against the vaccine shipment as “inappropriate” and asked Ambassador Moreno to bring his message to the EU.
“The entire world considers the vaccines global public goods,” he said. “If the Europeans keep all the vaccine to themselves, everyone else would die.”
Despite his criticism, Mr Hun Sen also asked the EU to donate vaccines to Cambodia, especially the UK-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be stored and transported at normal refrigerated tempretures of two degrees to eight degrees Celsius and cost only around $4 to $5 per dose.
Khmer Times yesterday was not able to reach the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia for comment on the issue.
The Australian Embassy in Cambodia yesterday officially announced a grant of around $28 million which, according to its statement, will enable the Cambodian government to inoculate 1.5 million people with WHO-approved vaccines.
According to the embassy, this contribution is in addition to the approximately $50 million of development assistance that Australia planned to deliver in Cambodia this year under the Cambodia-Australia COVID-19 Development Response Plan, which was launched in December.
It is also in addition to the vaccines 20 percent of Cambodian people will receive from the multilateral Covax facility, to which Australia has already made a significant contribution.
“As a neighbour and longstanding friend of Cambodia, we are pleased to be able to lend a hand in this time of need,’ said Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia.
“Our regular development cooperation funding will focus on supporting Cambodia’s socio-economic response to the pandemic. Implementing the vaccine will complement that work and help to put our shared region on a path to recovery,” he said.
Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, in a meeting with Ambassador Kang yesterday said Cambodia is grateful for Australia’s support during this hard time.
“We applaud Australia and her people for their solidarity and commitment in jointly fighting against this pandemic, so that we can recover and prosper together,’ he added.
Also during his speech yesterday, Mr Hun Sen reiterated that Cambodia will need 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate 10 million of its population. While Australia’s grant will allow the Kingdom to obtain three million doses, Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia will receive one million doses from China and seven million through the Covax facility.
“For the other nine million doses, we have asked for donations from India and Russia, but we are also considering buying vaccines from the UK,” he said.
The Premier added that the “American vaccine” (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine) is unlikely to be used in the Kingdom, considering the extremely low temperature at which it has to be stored.
“We will accept assistance from the US, but the American vaccine which needs to be kept at -70 degree Celsius cannot be used in Cambodia,” he said, adding that if the US wants to contribute to the cause, it should provide a grant to the Cambodian government to buy the vaccines for the people.
On another matter, Mr Hun Sen said that unlike last year, in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the government does not plan to cancel this year’s Khmer New Year celebration in April.
“The reason for last year’s action was because 120,000 migrant workers from Thailand suddenly returned to Cambodia while many people would have been travelling from Phnom Penh during the holiday and it was hard to know whether a person had the virus or not,” Mr Hun Sen said.
However, the Premier still called for everyone to stick to the concept of a “new normal”, such as practising good hygiene and social distancing, during the Khmer New Year as well as the upcoming Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated this month by people of Chinese and Vietnamese descent in the country.
“Shops or restaurant owners [or managers] must not allow in customers who do not wear face masks to enter their shops or restaurant,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cambodia yesterday found one new COVID-19 case involving a 20-year-old female migrant worker from Pursat province who arrived in Cambodia from Thailand on January 15 and is now receiving treatment at Pailin referral hospital.
This new case has brought the tally to 466 with 23 still active cases following recoveries. The Kingdom has so far reported no deaths.
The country reported +10,994 new infections, taking the totals to 1,089,308 infections with +279 new deaths, bringing total to 30,277 deaths.
The country reported +0 new case recorded, total at 44. No deaths.
The country reported +3,455 new cases, taking total to 222,628 and +10 new deaths, total is at 791 deaths.