PHNOM PENH, May 26 (Xinhua) -- A Cambodian official and an expert have urged not to politicize the COVID-19 pandemic, as some countries are playing the blame game over it.
"One should not politicize COVID-19; instead, they should do their best to safeguard their citizens," Cambodian government chief spokesman Phay Siphan told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
"Some countries have spent time blaming this or that country. This is an irresponsible act for their own citizens," Siphan said.
Instead of blaming each other, countries should try their best to protect their people's lives, he said.
"We don't want to see any sides put the blame on each other; we want to see them stay united against COVID-19," he added.
Cambodia highly commends China for taking strict measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and for helping other countries, including Cambodia, to fight against the virus, he said.
The efforts and role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global battle against the pandemic are praiseworthy, Siphan said, adding that countries should work closely with the respectable organization to defeat the virus.
Chheang Vannarith, president of the think tank Asian Vision Institute in Phnom Penh, said politicizing the pandemic is counterproductive, and hinders the international cooperation and collective response to fight, contain and mitigate the pandemic.
"China has done a commendable job in curbing the spread (of the virus) and providing critical assistance to countries in need," Vannarith told Xinhua. "Now, China is taking measures to recover its economy from the slowdown."
The WHO has been playing a very important role in helping countries stem the spread of the coronavirus, he said.
"The WHO is the hub of the international system in this global war against the virus," he said, calling for the international community to support the international body.