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Cambodia Launches National Campaign Against Omicron

KAMPONG SPEU: The national campaign titled, "the Covid-19 Omicron variant can be transmitted faster than before, and can cause serious risks to you and your family", was announced on Tuesday, 22 March. This campaign intends to raise more awareness about the Omicron variant and calls on all stakeholders to understand that the Covid-10 pandemic is far from over.

During the opening ceremony of the national campaign held in Chbar Morn town, Kampong Speu province, on Tuesday morning, the Minister of Health, Mam Bunheng, said that although the Omicron variant is not as severe as previous variants, its presence has continued to grow rapidly within the local community. As a result, the Omicron variant is still a risk to public health and people’s lives in Cambodia, especially those who have not yet been vaccinated. Additionally, the continued spread of the virus also adversely affects Cambodia’s socio-economic performance.

The Minster said that the announcement of this campaign focused on the Omicron variant acts as a call to all stakeholders, capital-provincial governors, local authorities, private sector actors and citizens, to know that the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, and the mutation of the virus still poses a risk to individuals and families, such as the potential risk of infection leading to serious illness and hospitalization. He underlined that we must not overlook the seriousness of the continued transmission of the Omicron variant.

The Minister further urged the public to continue implementing the ‘3 Do’s and 3 Don’t’s’ measures, and to go and get fully vaccinated and receive the booster doses when eligible.

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Health and Chair of the Subcommittee on Education, Training and Public Relations, Or Vandine, said that the launch of this new national campaign is aimed at raising public awareness specifically on the Omicron variant. She added that treating Covid-19 as a mild disease, such as the flu, only causes the virus to spread more widely, which can lead to a serious negative social impact.

She said, the “Covid-19 virus is not as common as the common cold, it spreads very quietly and very fast, and it can endanger you and your family at any time, such as through the development of serious illness, hospitalization or even death."

She hopes that after launching this new campaign, people will be more vigilant about addressing the Omicron variant and more consistently adhere to health practices.

The representative of the World Health Organization in Cambodia, Dr. Li Ailan, has expressed support for the launch of this campaign, and said that it will help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 tomorrow and in the future. She considers Cambodia to have a good response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Health announced the discovery of the first Omicron case in Cambodia on 14 December 2021, although this specific variant did not begin to spread within the community until 8 January 2022.

As of Sunday, 20 March 2022, the Ministry of Health has announced a total of 13,309 Omicron cases in the community, and 51 deaths due to the variant. According to forecasts, if individuals continue to neglect good health practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Omicron variant will continue to invade communities, and will require a combination of measures and unification to prevent the further spread of the virus.

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