COVID-19: Cambodia relaxes restrictions, Singapore, Indonesia promotes vaccination plans
[J-Tao Report]In contrast to some regional countries, Cambodia has begun easing restrictions imposed for the past six weeks that followed a COVID-19 outbreak last November.
On January 4, students wearing masks lined up for temperature checks and hand washing before being allowed to enter the Sovannaphumi primary school in the capital Phnom Penh.
While private schools have started reopening this week, students at public schools are due to return next Monday.
Cambodia has also reopened the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a famous tourist destination in Phnom Penh.
In November, Cambodia put in place a range of restrictions after an outbreak of community transmission linked with a 56-year-old woman who had travelled to the country’s two biggest cities since November 20.
In neighbouring Thailand, authorities warned on January 4 that the country could face a strict lockdown as infection numbers climbed, spurring it to declare 28 provinces high-risk zones.
The same day, Singapore said it will consider relaxing travel restrictions for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including for those planning to visit the city-state for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in May.
The country has largely banned leisure travel because of the pandemic, and has limited business and official travel agreements with certain nations.
Last week, it became one of the first countries in Asia to embark on a national inoculation programme.
Singaporean Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said more vaccines are expected to arrive in Singapore in the next few months, including those by US firm Moderna and China’s Sinovac.
He said in the parliament that there will be enough COVID-19 vaccines for Singaporeans and long-term residents of Singapore by the third quarter of 2021 if all goes according to plan.
The country received its first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in December.
In Indonesia, a mass vaccination programme is set to start next week as about 700,000 doses of vaccines have already been widely distributed.
The nation has secured more than 329 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, most notably from Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, and AstraZeneca. However, those to be used in the first phase are CoronaVac, the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac.
Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia’s health minister, has said that the country needs to inoculate about 181 million people, or roughly 67 percent of its population. About 1.3 million health workers would be first in line for the shots, followed by public servants.
Source: KHMER TIMES