Cambodia, like most countries, has not been spared from the COVID-19 pandemic although it has registeed a significantly low number of infections with no mortality.
Despite this, China is actively supporting the Kingdom in efforts to contain the virus spread while actively fighting the pandemic in its own territory.
With the support of the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, good relationships between the two countries had led to a significant number of resources being given to Cambodia in these difficult times.
Earlier this year, Health Minister Mam Bun Heng had asked the Chinese authorities for help in fighting the outbreak. Following this request, the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia facilitated the arrival of the first batch of medical experts to Cambodia in mid-March. Bun Heng and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian were both present at the Phnom Penh International Airport to welcome the experts from Guang Xi province who immediately set to work jointly with a Cambodian medical team. The team of seven experts stayed in Cambodia for two weeks to guide Cambodian health authorities on ways to handle the outbreak both in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province.
The Chinese experts provided advice and shared their experience in fighting the virus. Their input provided a good opportunity for Cambodian medics to learn from China on how to curb the virus, according to Health Ministry Spokesman Or Vandine. Also in March, The Chinese Government dispatched an additional four military doctors to the Kingdom to train Cambodian military medics at the request of the Defence Ministry.
The four doctors, who specialised in anti-virus measures, sterilising, diagnosing and protection, provided guidelines to 70 Cambodian military doctors on how to battle the virus. Prior to giving advice to the military, the Chinese doctors gathered information about the situation in Cambodia related to the pandemic in order to provide input on ways to tackle the situation.
After two months working closely with the Cambodian military medics and sharing expertise and providing extensive training on preventive measure against the pandemic, the team of Chinese doctors were each awarded medals of honour in recognition of their help in the fight against the pandemic in the Kingdom. The medals were presented by Defence Minister General Tea Banh.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army had arranged the deployment of the military medical experts and also sent medical supplies and equipment to Cambodia in the fight against the disease.
China’s CPC Central Committee, through the Chinese Embassy, also donated anti-epidemic medical supplies to civil society organisations in the country. These included surgical masks, medical equipment and pharmaceutical drugs – all of which approximately cost $160,000. Cambodia also received seven tonnes of medical supplies from China’s Ministry of National Defence for the fight against the coronavirus.
The government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China also donated medical supplies, valued at $500,000, to Cambodia. These included face masks, protective gear, goggles and additional extraction kits among others for the prevention and control of COVID-19. The Chinese Embassy previously declared: “It is another tangible reflection of the brotherhood through thick and thin between both countries.”
Following supportive actions led by China, Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed gratitude towards the Chinese government and stated on his Facebook page: “Thanks so much, our Chinese Friend who always assists Cambodia under all circumstances, especially when Cambodia is fighting the COVID-19.”