PHNOM PENH, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) office in Cambodia on Tuesday called on people to continue caution although the Southeast Asian nation has seen a success in its vaccination drive.
"Cambodia is in a new phase of the pandemic in which decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage, and a more transmissible circulating variant threaten a hidden surge," said a WHO-Cambodia's press statement.
The kingdom confirmed 511 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the national total caseload to 96,339, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said, adding that 11 more fatalities were reported, bringing the death toll to 1,981 so far.
"The daily reported numbers of both cases and deaths have been declining for several weeks, and the declines have been reported across most provinces," the statement said.
As cases have decreased, the vaccination coverage has increased, it said.
Most of the vaccines used in the country's immunization program are China's Sinovac and Sinopharm.
According to the MoH, to date, some 11.3 million people, or 70.6 percent of the kingdom's 16-million population, have received at least one vaccine dose, while 9 million, or 56 percent of the population, have received both shots and 680,000 have got a third dose or booster dose.
About 98 percent of the healthcare workers have been fully vaccinated, the statement said, adding that the vaccination rollout has reached many vulnerable populations living in remote areas and those with underlying health conditions.
"The success of the vaccines in preventing severe disease could mean that transmission continues undetected," it said. "These factors tend to lead people to drop their guard and return to the old ways of interacting with one another, ways through which a very transmissible variant can wreak havoc."
WHO representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said although the data indicated an improving situation, the risk of a surge of COVID-19 is very high, adding that like many countries, Cambodia has been racing against more transmissible variants throughout 2021.
She said the Alpha variant was detected early in the year and dominated most of the outbreak, and recently, the Delta variant was found among migrants returning through land borders and has now been detected among residents of most provinces.
"No community is safe until every community is safe. The pandemic affects every province and every community, so everyone must play their role responsibly," she said. "Our society's safety is based on individual actions. Only then can we curb the spread of COVID-19 and look forward to a brighter future." Enditem