Chinese COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Cambodia, welcomed by PM at airport
Published: Feb 08, 2021 10:05 AM

Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian (L) hands over the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Feb. 7, 2021. (Photo by Sovannara/Xinhua)

A chartered flight carrying the first batch of the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Cambodia on Sunday, welcomed by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

The event was live broadcast on the prime minister's official Facebook page, the state-run National Television of Cambodia (TVK), Fresh News, the kingdom's online news provider, and several other TV channels.

A handover ceremony of the vaccines was held at the airport, which was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.

Addressing the ceremony, Hun Sen expressed gratitude to China for its donating vaccines to his country.

"Vaccines are a key strategic solution that can save people's lives, improve long-term public health, and guarantee the overall recovery of economic and social activities," he said.

"A Cambodian proverb says 'a good friend must help each other in difficult times'. In this sense, the donation of the vaccines is a new testament to the iron friendship and close cooperation between the two countries and peoples," he added.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Wang said Cambodia is one of the first countries to receive the vaccine assistance from China and that the donation clearly showed China's commitment to making its COVID-19 vaccines global public goods.

"It is hoped that these vaccines can play a positive role in helping Cambodia to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Wang said.

China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has been recognized as a safe and effective vaccine, ordered and approved for use in many countries, Hun Sen has said.

He has said a vaccination drive against COVID-19 will be launched in Cambodia on Feb. 10 with the country's medical workers, armed forces members, teachers, journalists, tuk-tuk and taxi drivers, and garbage collectors being among the first people to take shots.

Cambodian authorities have authorized the emergency use of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in the country, noting that "the vaccine is used safely in China and other countries."

Cambodia has so far reported 474 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with zero deaths and 454 recoveries.
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