A donation of over two million face masks and other medical supplies was delivered to Laos yesterday by Minister of Defence General Tea Banh, on behalf of the Cambodian government.
Gen Banh said that the supplies were donated after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Health to prepare them for the neighbouring country.
He added that the supplies aimed to demonstrate the solidarity between the two countries, and their cooperative commitment to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It is indeed my great honour and pleasure to represent Prime Minister Hun Sen at this handover of medical protective materials from the people of Cambodia to our brother country of Laos, to help support the effort to stem the spread of COVID-19,” Gen Banh said.
He said that the donation is a gesture to show the sentimental spirit of brotherhood and solidarity felt between the Cambodian and Lao people, amid the global pandemic.
He said Cambodia and Laos have enjoyed long-lasting bonds of fraternal friendship, which have continued to be strengthened by the leaders of both countries and at all levels.
“Our two peoples have fought shoulder to shoulder against colonialism and imperialism to gain our respective independence, national sovereignty, freedom and self-determination. Nowadays, Cambodia and Laos cooperate closely, under bilateral and multilateral frameworks, for peace, security, sustainable development and mutual benefits of both nations,” he said.
“I am confident that the excellent relationship between our two nations will further deepen, bringing socio-economic progress to our peoples and contributing to the peace, security and development of the region.”
On Saturday, a Facebook post by Mr Hun Sen said that on behalf of the government, he would like to donate the medical supplies to Laos.
“I firmly believe that under the wise leadership of the Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Laos will succeed in overcoming the virus and we will recover together,” Mr Hun Sen said.
Regarding the donations, Health Ministry Secretary of State Youk Sambath said: “We have prepared over two million masks for Laos. As well as masks, we have also delivered medical supplies including 20,000 personal protective equipment items, 20,000 N95 masks, 500 temperature checking devices, 20,000 face shields, 20 ventilator machines, 20 patient monitors, 500 packs of Chloramine B Powder, 1,000 sets of plastic safety boots and 2,000 units of hand sanitiser.
The donation was made after Sisoulith called Mr Hun Sen on Saturday to ask about his health and his wife’s health.
In a statement released by Sisoulith on Sunday, he acknowledged the donation by Mr Hun Sen and expressed his gratitude for his kind assistance amid the pandemic.
“On behalf of the government, the people and myself, I would like to express my profound gratitude and sincere thanks for this invaluable support from the Cambodian government and people of Cambodia during this difficult time,” he said.
In the statement, he also said that Laos is very grateful and touched by the fact that despite being also affected by the pandemic and facing similar difficulties, the government and people of the Kingdom of Cambodia share its assistance with Laos.
He said that this reflects the close existing bonds of friendship and solidarity, as well as good neighbourliness between the two countries. It also exemplifies the comprehensive and long-lasting strategic partnership between the two countries which continues to deepen.
“I assure Mr Hun Sen that such assistance will be utilised to the most effective outcome in order to prevent COVID-19 transmission. In the meantime, I am convinced that the government and people of the Kingdom of Cambodia will also be able to successfully overcome COVID-19,” he said.
So far, Laos has recorded 24 cases and zero deaths, with only one patient currently hospitalised due to the virus.