PHNOM PENH, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has become a state of COVID-zero after the last patient recovered, according to a health ministry's statement on Tuesday.
The country reported no new cases of COVID-19 for 31 days straight, the statement said, adding that since the pandemic began in January 2020, the southeast Asian nation has logged a total of 136,262 confirmed cases with 133,206 recoveries and 3,056 deaths.
Health ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine attributed the country's success in controlling the pandemic to the government's right leadership and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
"Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen has made the right and timely decision to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible Cambodians and foreigners living in the country," she told reporters via a telegram group.
"Vaccines are the most powerful tool to protect lives against COVID-19, reducing infections and deaths," Vandine said.
Cambodia has so far vaccinated at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to over 15 million people, or 94 percent of its 16 million population, the health ministry said, adding that of them, 14.3 million, or 89.4 percent, have been fully vaccinated with two required shots.
Also, some 9.25 million, or 58 percent, have got a third dose, and 2.58 million, or 16 percent, have had a fourth dose.
Cambodia will begin offering a fifth dose of COVID-19 vaccines to priority groups from June 9.
Buoyed by its high vaccination rates, Cambodia has resumed all socioeconomic activities and reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers without quarantine since November last year.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country are China's Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said vaccines have protected lives, stabilized health system and helped restore the economy.
"The royal government of Cambodia has made the correct decision to choose China as a strategic supplier of COVID-19 vaccines and that's why Cambodia has enough vaccines for its people," he told Xinhua. ■