PHNOM PENH, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- COVID-19 vaccines have helped boost Cambodia's economic recovery and growth since last November, the country's Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Thursday.
Speaking at a handover ceremony of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated from Spain, Hun Sen said Cambodia can be considered one of the leading countries in managing COVID-19 thanks to its high vaccination rates.
"As a result, although new waves of COVID-19 continue to emerge, Cambodia has been able to reopen the country in all areas, maintain normal socio-economic activities, as well as recover and boost strong economic growth since November 2021 until now," he said.
"These achievements were due to vaccination, which has helped build strong defenses, cut off infections and, especially, prevent serious illnesses and deaths," Hun Sen said. "As a matter of fact, there has been no death in Cambodia in the last four months since April 2022."
Meanwhile, the prime minister called on all Cambodian people to continue to strictly comply with health and safety protocols and to get the booster doses when their turns come.
Cambodia's economy is projected to grow by 5.4 percent in 2022, up from 3 percent in 2021, propelled by a swift rebound in the garment sector and non-garment sector as well as agriculture, according to a government forecast.
According to the health ministry, 94.7 percent of Cambodia's 16 million population have so far received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 90.5 percent have taken two basic shots, 62 percent have got a third dose, 24 percent have obtained a fourth dose, and 3.5 percent have received a fifth dose.
China's Sinovac and Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines have been widely used in the kingdom's immunization program.
Senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said fiscal stimulus and high vaccination rates, together with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement, are the boosters for Cambodia's economic growth.
"Chinese COVID-19 vaccines have not only protected millions of Cambodian people's lives and stabilized the health system, but also helped boost Cambodia's economic recovery," he told Xinhua.