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For the first time in many weeks, Cambodia registered a rise in new COVID cases as Cambodia’s Omicron total jumped yesterday to 31 cases – all imported.  However, no local cases were recorded – although experts believe it is now just a matter of time before Omicron appears locally.
Today’s official daily new COVID case total (diagnosed by PCR test) was 15, bringing the COVID case total to 120,464 cases.
No details have yet been released of where these new Omicron cases have come from, although it is believed that 29 of the total cases came through Phnom Penh International Airport and 2 came via Siem Reap International Airport.
It seems only a matter of time until The Kingdom records it’s first ‘local’ cases – following the footsteps of ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and – most worrying for Cambodia – Thailand, who have all recorded ‘local’ outbreaks.
This has caused alarm in Cambodia, especially in the case of migrant workers returning from Thailand through several provinces since border check points were opened on August 13.
Omicron, reported to be highly transmissible and has a higher reinfection rate,  has now spread to over 100 countries worldwide, including Cambodia.
Research from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) state that, in most individuals, two doses of BioNtech or Sinovac do not produce sufficient levels of serum antibodies against the new Omicron virus variant.
However, Cambodians seem slow to avail themselves of the vital 3rd dose.
Phnom Penh City Hall says it will  re-launch the booster dose campaign for the second time on January 3, after the first campaign on October 11 achieved poor results

According to supplied figures (please note that figures are approximately 2 days behind), Cambodia has administered around 3.28 million booster doses – i.e only around 19.34% of the population (see below)

This low uptake of the 3rd vaccination threatens to derail the Royal Government’s sterling efforts in vaccinating Cambodians with the 1st and 2nd doses.
However, despite the threat of Omicron, Cambodia is pressing on with reopening and the emphasis of the Royal Government is now on shifting to the ‘new normalcy’ and making Cambodia open for tourism and business by managing milder cases of COVID with home treatment.
But, it remains to be seen whether the escalating case total of Omicron in Cambodia will alter these plans.
As previously explained, the spectacular downwards trend in reported cases is a result of a policy instituted in October of not counting ‘rapid’ testing and ‘mild’ cases of COVID-19 in the official daily case figures.
Certainly, there was a general upwards trend in The Kingdom under the old reporting regime, however, the last 88 day’s results have completely reversed this trend- as illustrated in the graph below (please note results may be up to 2 days behind) below:

Looking at other figures, the total number of Community Cases is now 100,576 with 19,888 cases being imported.
15 imported cases were announced today, with a big jump coming from the new Omicron cases
Cambodia also announced 1 new deaths, bringing the total to 3009 direct deaths from COVID-19 in Cambodia.
13 recoveries were announced as active cases rose for the first time in many weeks – there are now 574 active COVID cases diagnosed by PCR test in Cambodia.xxx

Tags: COVID-19 in Cambodia

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