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Vaccine priority for elderly, disabled and monks in Red Zones

Thong Sotha​​   On May 6, 2021 - 12:23 pm​   In Cambodia Insider  
Vaccine priority for elderly, disabled and monks in Red Zones Vaccine priority for elderly, disabled and monks in Red Zones

Prime Minister Hun Sen advised the Red Zone vaccination teams to pay close attention to the elderly and those with disabilities, who should be vaccinated first, and not to forget to invite monks to come.

He said in a voice message on his Facebook page yesterday that he knows people locked down in Red Zones are having a hard time, so he decided that authorities should consider Red Zones as a priority for vaccinations.

“I would like to commend the leadership and the army from the various divisions and the medical team of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for coming to the aid of the people in the Red Zones without fear of danger,” he said.

Mr Hun Sen confirmed that the vaccination operation for the people in the Red Zones, which are at risk of spreading COVID-19, must vaccinate all the people.

“We will not walk away from them,” he said.

Mr Hun Sen also called on people not to rush to get vaccinated, but to wait for the arrangement of the vaccination team and trust that the vaccine will be available.

“I request to General Tea Banh, Defence Minister, to order the army to be deployed in the Red Zone areas and not to end the first doses on May 15, but to make sure that all the people in the Red Zones [get the vaccine], regardless if it is 520,000 people or over this number, we still can afford to inject people,” he said.

Mr Hun Sen also expressed his pleasure at the rapid vaccination operation, which in four days inoculated up to 150,000 people, adding that even when the vaccine is given to 520,000 people living in Red Zones it will not be sufficient for herd immunity.

Doctors are testing between 5,000 and 6,000 occupants of Red Zones per day for COVID-19 using Rapid Test Kits to find positive cases quickly.

Dr Hok Kim Cheng, director of the Ministry of Health’s Technology Department, told Khmer Times yesterday that in Phnom Penh’s Red Zones, the ministry’s medical teams took between 5,000 to 6,000 samples a day.

“We have taken sample tests of a lot of people from the lockdown areas and it is good that the government, as well as the capital-provincial authorities, have locked down the high-risk areas, as it has helped cut off the transmission of COVID-19 from one place to the other,” Dr Kim Cheng said.

He added that in the Red Zones, the percentage of infection is generally five to 10 percent, and in those areas where there are many people living near each other, there is a higher risk of infection.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement on the licensing of three private health services to treat COVID-19 patients.

Dr Kim Cheng said yesterday that the private hospitals which have been given a licence for treating COVID-19 patients include Central Hospital in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmei III commune, Phnom Penh Royal Hospital on Russian Federation Blvd in Sen Sok district’s Toek Thla commune, and Visal Sok Polyclinic on Monireth Street in Chamkar Morn district’s Tuol Svay Prey II commune.

So far, more than 30 private hospitals have applied to the Health Ministry for a licence to treat COVID-19 patients or administer tests, said Dr Kim Cheng.

He added that for any private hospitals that were denied a licence, it was because those hospitals were not yet qualified to meet the technical standards set by the Health Ministry.

“I would like to emphasise that the hospitals which can treat COVID-19 patients must have the appropriate technical equipment that is needed for examination and treatment must be adequate. The grounds as well as the hospital must be large, the staff and beds must be sufficient,” he said.

There are currently 23 private hospitals licensed by the Health Ministry to administer the COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits.

“We also have a policy for applying to the ministry. Hospitals that intend to test for COVID-19 must have separate rooms to isolate patients and when those hospitals detect a case of the COVID-19 virus, they must report it to the Health Ministry,” he said.

Dr Kim Cheng said the purpose of the ministry’s request for private hospitals to apply to join in screening COVID-19 through Rapid Test Kits is to ensure that private hospitals are vigilant, because there are high risk people could easily be infected with COVID-19 and transmit it to doctors.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that the treatment of COVID-19 patients in private hospitals in Phnom Penh that are licensed by the ministry must be paid for by the patient. The state is not responsible for the service fee.

The government announced that another one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in Cambodia this month. The first shipment is due to arrive on May 11 with 500,000 doses and another 500,000 doses are set for arrival on May 15. Khmer Times