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Cambodians Urged to Accept ‘New Normal’ as restrictions Look Set to Ease

Phnom Penh: The Health Ministry is reportedly working on an “exit strategy” to ease Covid-19 restrictions, and get the country ready to live in a new normal. Health Ministry spokeswoman, Or Vandine, has been quoted as saying that the kingdom needs to start learning how to live with the virus, but says, for now, “Preventative guidelines issued by the government remain in place”. Current restrictions in Phnom Penh are due to expire next Friday.

For the capital’s high-risk businesses, the “new normal” couldn’t come soon enough. They’ve been closed since early March, but the sight of people wearing masks, socially-distancing and avoiding crowds as much as possible, is probably with us to stay.

80% of the population has already received two doses of the vaccine. Cambodia, like Singapore, is striving to reach herd immunity, even with the variants likely to stay with us. The new normal is going to mean living with Covid much the same way we live with the flu. World Health Organization Representative to Cambodia, Dr Li Ailan, says the WHO is very pleased that the overall Covid-19 situation is now improving in Cambodia.

At the same time, The Health Ministry is looking at expanding the vaccine drive to include children aged 10-12. It’s looking to use the Sinovac doses which continue to stream into Phnom Penh International. Sinovac is already being used in children as young as 3 in China and is being used to inoculate Cambodian children in the 12-17 age group.

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