Cambodia deploys army to speed up Covid-19 vaccinations
Cambodia’s army began a drive on Saturday to vaccinate nearly half a million people in the parts of Phnom Penh worst-hit by COVID-19, as the Southeast Asian nation looks to step up the pace of inoculations.
The country, which had been one of the least affected by the pandemic, is fighting a surge in coronavirus cases that has seen the total number of infections jump from about 500 to 13,790 since late February, including all 96 of the deaths it has recorded.
Phnom Penh is under lockdown until May 5 and has declared some districts of the capital “red zones”, banning people from leaving their homes except for medical reasons.
Senior military official Eth Sarath said 471,573 people would be inoculated with China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac shots during a one-month campaign led by the military, according to a Ministry of Defence statement posted on Facebook.
“To date, more than 1.3 million Cambodians, including foreigners, diplomats and civil society workers, have been vaccinated,” the defence ministry said.
It said the country, which has a population of around 16 million, had received more than 4 million doses of vaccine, including 1.7 million doses of Sinopharm donated by China.
People queued to get vaccinated on Saturday at a primary school in Phnom Penh as camouflage army personnel coordinated the crowd by radio.
Edited by Olajumoke Adeleke