Special Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Regarding Anti-Covid-19 Vaccination in the Red Areas of Phnom Penh and Takhmao City of Kandal Province [Unoffcial Translation]


Samdech Picheay Sena Tea Banh (DPM and Minister of National Defense), HE Vongsey Vissoth (Secretary of State for Economy and Finance), Lok Chumteav Or Vandin (Chairwoman of Adhoc-Vaccines/Vaccination Commission),

HE Ith Sarath (Deputy Commander-in-Chief, RGC Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of Operations of the Vaccination Campaign), HE Khuong Sreng (Mayor of Phnom Penh)


The vaccination process in areas identified as red zones is well underway, bringing the total number of vaccinated people in the country to more than 1,500,000, or more than 15% of the population. In the red zones, the (Adhoc-Vaccination) Commission sent 900,000 doses of the vaccine to the (medical teams) of the armed forces who entered and carried out their vaccinating order in the red zones. However, the actual number of population there is more than 520,000, according to the figures that I have received, and that we all know. We only have 900,000 doses of the vaccine. I would like to emphasize that, in the red zones, until every person has gotten vaccination, we will not leave.

Of the 900,000 doses sent, only more than 400,000 people would have vaccinated. Usually there were some damages and even counting that in we think we could get 440,000 people vaccinated. Therefore, there may be a lack of vaccines. I would like to emphasize that we will not lack the vaccine for 520,000 people in the red zones. On the 11th (of May), 500,000 doses of vaccine will arrive, and on the 15th, another 500,000 doses will be arriving. There will be an extra 1 million doses in hand. Therefore, I would like to ask Samdech Pichey Sena to order the (vaccinating) units to deploy in the red zones, not to finish the first dose by the 15th, but to do the first dose for all the people in the red zone – say, not only 520,000 people, even if there were more.

In this regard, I am asking for continued injection process and then once the first dose achieved, let us continue to the second dose. Previously, it was planned that the first dose would be limited to 450,000 people. However, I would like to reiterate that the first dose completed until all the people have been able to start the second dose, or in other words, there remained a small number of people to get the first dose, in parallel, we can allow them to continue to finish the first dose and start the second dose. As for the supply of vaccines, Lok Chumteav Or Vandin, the chairperson of the Commission for Affairs, as well as HE Vongsey Vissoth, in charge of procurement of vaccines, are working to ensure that the 500,000 doses of the vaccine arrive. They must discuss with Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh or HE Ith Sarath on how to get sufficient vaccines for the people in the red areas.

I would like to emphasize that the red zones is a high-risk areas. Trapped in there, the people are having hardships already, so we have to give them the benefit first so that they can be in the red zones considered/blocked by the Phnom Penh authorities. I know that there seemed to be a red area left in one district, Sangkat Kilometer 6 if I am not wrong, that vaccination has not yet started due to lack of vaccines and medical teams. If so, start preparing a team of doctors. Once the vaccine arrives on the 11th (of May), we can turn your attention to the red zone that has not yet had vaccination.

According to this situation, by the time we finished vaccinating in the red zone, (the number) of Cambodians who have been vaccinated will reach more than 2 million, which is 20% of our 10 million. Therefore, I would like to ask Samdech Pichey Sena, HE Ith Sarath, who is leading the vaccination campaign in the red zones, to continue the work in those areas to the end and to pay high attention to all the people there. In particular, people with disabilities and the elderly should be have our high attention and the opportunity to be vaccinated first. In case of necessity, the elderly or the disabled who are unable to walk, we can go to his/her places to give injection. Do not forget the monks in the pagoda also ask them to come for the jabs […] we will not leave the red zones if anyone is without vaccination. As we plan to vaccinate 450,000 people, […] I can now say that even if 520,000 people, 530,000 people, 540,000 or up to 600,000 or more, we still have the ability to vaccinate all the people in this area.

I would like to commend His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, especially the medical teams, the leaders of the brigade units and the medical teams of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who came to help the people in the red areas without fear. I would also like to thank you for helping distribute my aid to the poor people in the areas. I would also like to thank the people who wrote letters and sent Facebook messages to my Facebook account to thank the army for the doctors in the red zone, as well as to thank the Royal Government. They are encouragements. It is a good collaboration between the injectors and the recipients, that is, between the doctors/vaccinators and those who received the vaccines.

(May I remind our people) please do not rush and jostle, because as far as vaccines availability is concerned, it is just a matter of time – before and after – and the injection ability of injectors. Even if the vaccine arrives on time, we still cannot go faster than what we achieved. Now, in one day, we can only inject 30,000 to 40,000 people. If so, we will not be able to reach tens of thousands (in a day). (I am calling on you to) follow the instructions of the vaccination teams as well as the local authorities to ensure that you get the vaccinations and that we do not have a contagious infection from jostling. I would like to thank our compatriots for their clear understanding of the vaccine and its related matters that the injection of which will save your life and prevent the spread of Covid-19. No one, (with his/her intention) to destroy the vaccination process can cheat us. We already have people involved to get vaccines. We will blanket Phnom Penh and Kandal province with the vaccine, but first we do it within the framework of the red zone […]

Soon, thanks to our efforts to find vaccines, with the help of the People’s Republic of China, which is an inexhaustible source for us, both in terms of aid and supply through our purchases, we will blanket Phnom Penh and Kandal’s Takhmao city with vaccines. This is a message that I am sending to you – His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, as well as the doctors and our people, and I am very happy because we have planned the vaccination process well and in the right direction. Thank you./.