COVID-19 cases continue to drop in Cambodia, Malaysia speeds up vaccinations hinh anh 1 A COVID-19 inoculation site in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Photo:XINHUA/VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The daily caseload has decreased in Cambodia for the second day but there is a rise in imported cases and deaths, the Khmer Times reported.

The Cambodia Health Ministry on August 3 announced 577 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 79,051. Of these, 224 were imported cases.

The ministry also confirmed 29 deaths on the same day, taking the total count of fatalities to 1,471.

Experts fear that many people continue to illegally cross the border from Thailand to return home in the context that eight provinces bordering Thailand have been closed to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up to 63 migrants were caught on August 2 trying to cross into Cambodia and this may be only the tip of the iceberg.

On August 3, local media reported eight suspected “Delta” cases in Phnom Penh, coupled with the closure of parts of the city – namely Russey Keo and Tuol Kork districts. It is shown that the ‘Delta’ variant is also now in Phnom Penh and has crossed from ‘imported’ cases into ‘community’ cases.

Meanwhile, an additional 609,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, donated by the US through the COVAX Facility, arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport on August 2. This is the second batch of the US donation of more than one million doses after 500,000 doses arrived on July 30.

According to the Health Ministry's Secretary of State Youk Sambath, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used to inoculate people who live near the borders.

In Malaysia, National COVID-19 Immunication Programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on August 3 that the government is very optimistic in achieving the set target of achieving herd immunity before the end of this year. 

Speaking after visiting a mobile vaccination centre at Kampung Batu Peti, Jempol, Khairy said with the vaccination rate of about 500,000 shots per day in the past week, 31 percent of adults now having completed their vaccinations.

Malaysia is certain to meet its target of vaccinating 50 percent of adults, aged 18 and over, by the end of this month, he said.

The minister said the mass vaccination programme will soon be expanded to other states, with priority given to the elderly.

According to him, the number of vaccine shots per day has exceeded 500,000 in the past six days and reached a record of 519,111 injections on August 1./.