Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Private sector gets nod to sell jabs amid Delta fears

Private sector gets nod to sell jabs amid Delta fears

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A healthcare worker prepared a dose of the Sinovac vaccine at a hospital in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Private sector gets nod to sell jabs amid Delta fears

The Ministry of Health has granted permission to authorised pharmaceutical import-export companies to import Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as part of response to the more contagious and deadly coronavirus Delta variant in Cambodia.

In a bid to boost the government’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus, health minister Mam Bun Heng issued two separate letters on July 27 giving private firms the green light to import the vaccines and distribute rapid antigen test devices.

One of the letter said authorised companies can import the vaccines and distribute them to all private health services nationwide.

“[Firms] must follow the technical standards regarding transportation and storage of the vaccines to ensure their safety and effectiveness,” he said.

The second letter said authorised firms can sell and distribute Covid-19 antigen rapid test devices already licensed by the ministry to private pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and polyclinics across the country.

Pharmacies must buy only test kits approved by the ministry and can sell them to the general public and medical professionals, though not online.

“Medical professionals and the general public must buy Covid-19 rapid antigen test devices which have registration numbers with the ministry from legitimate pharmacies. They must avoid purchasing them online because these devices need to be stored properly and clearly sourced.

“If they don’t follow these instructions, they may end up with devices that are low quality or even fake,” the minister said.

As of July 26, Cambodia had vaccinated more than 6.83 million people of the targeted adult population of 10 million, or 68.39 per cent.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man gets vaccinated against Covid-19 in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

On July 27, the health ministry reported 39 more cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant, eight of which have spread into community.

Of the other 31 cases, 21 were found in migrant workers returning from Thailand through border checkpoints, four in medical workers and six in local residents who had been in direct contact with those infected with Delta.

The ministry noted that the eight cases that have spread into community were found in local residents who had no contact with migrant workers at all – two in Siem Reap, five in Oddar Meanchey and one in Kampong Thom.

Of the 114 total Delta cases found in Cambodia to date, most were detected in migrant workers returning from Thailand, along with a few cases found in airline passengers.

The Delta cases, especial those with no clear source, are of great concern to health minister Bun Heng, who has renewed his call for people to stay vigilant and adapt their lives to the “new normal” amid Covid-19.

“We have to prevent, control and break the chain of transmission, especially the new variant or other new strains in Cambodia which may eventually be detected,” Bun Heng said, adding that quarantine must be adhered to strictly.

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said the latest transmissions have been found mostly among youths, which could be due to the fact that they go out and meet their friends inadvisably. She reminded everyone that they must follow preventive measures including the three dos and three donts.

Citing WHO’s update, Vandine said the Alpha variant has been found in 180 countries, while the Beta strain has been transmitted to 130 countries. The Delta variant is found in 125 countries now, while the Gamma variant is found in 72 countries.

“These variants can increase in number from day to day which makes it hard for Cambodia to escape from them as we have already recorded Delta cases on passengers on land and air,” she said, adding that most of Cambodia’s confirmed cases were Alpha cases.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the