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PHNOM PENH--A special plane carrying a new batch of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the capital of Cambodia Wednesday night, giving the country bigger possibility to inoculate its citizens against COVID-19.
Present at the Phnom Penh International Airport for the handover of the vaccine were Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh, Health Minister Mam Bunheng and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian.
Speaking at the event, Gen. Banh expressed his profound gratitude to China for providing the vaccine to Cambodia, saying it was crucial to combating the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting the lives of Cambodian people.
He said it was the second batch of the Sinopharm vaccine that China had donated to Cambodia after the first batch which arrived in the kingdom on Feb. 7.
"This is a new testament to the iron friendship and close cooperation between the two governments and peoples, and it will undoubtedly contribute to building a Cambodia-China community with shared future," he said.
The government and people of Cambodia are so grateful to the government and people of China for generously providing the second batch of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to Cambodia in this difficult time, he added.
Ambassador Wang said the donation truly reflected China's unwavering commitment to making its COVID-19 vaccines a "global public good".
"I sincerely hope that Chinese vaccines will be able to build a healthy firewall for the Cambodian people against the COVID-19 and can play a positive role in helping Cambodia to prevail over the pandemic," he said.
Cambodia launched an inoculation drive on Feb. 10. As of Wednesday, more than 407,000 people in the priority groups had been vaccinated against the disease, according to a government report.
Cambodia's Ministry of Health secretary of state Or Vandine has said that the Sinopharm vaccine is safe and effective and that the country has not received any reports of serious side effects after inoculations.
The Southeast Asian country is targeting to inoculate at least 10 million out of its 16-million population.
On March 26, a batch of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine Cambodia purchased from China's pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech also arrived in the kingdom.
Cambodia has registered a total of 2,440 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 14 deaths and 1,191 recoveries.