June 14, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, who also serves as head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19, has reiterated his calls for people to remain vigilant, as the new variants of the virus could potentially lead to another outbreak of community infections.
In his June 12 letter, he offered health measures that people should follow and urged them to be prepared for the possible re-emergence of the virus.
The WHO declared on May 5 that Covid-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern. The announcement followed the 15th meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease.
The WHO advised people to follow its standing recommendations for the long-term management of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, taking into account the 2023-2025 Covid-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.
Bun Heng instructed the public to remain vigilant. He suggested that they continue to practice the health ministry’s three dos and three don’ts and make sure that their vaccinations are up to date.
“Please don’t forget the possibility of new variants that may be transmitted from one country to another. If individuals or families neglect to take precautions, a new variant could explode their communities,” he said.
He added that the virus was far from over, noting that the BA.2, XBB, XBB.1.5, XBB.1.9.1 and XBB.1.17.1 variant were all circulating. It was clear that the virus remained present and latent.
“I have instructed administrations and health departments in the capital and provinces to continue to pay attention to pushing Covid-19 boosters, especially in low vaccination areas. It is imperative that boosters are administered to doctors, front-line operators, the elderly, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups,” he said.
Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine echoed the minister’s calls, saying that people should remain alert, despite the pandemic appearing to have abated.
“Although the Covid-19 situation has improved, under the ‘new normal’, we need to continue to take steps to protect ourselves,” she said.