– Cambodia’s three-day Water Festival holiday came to an end, with some 910,000 people travelling to different tourist attractions, after most of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, Tourism Minister, Thong Khon said yesterday.

Water Festival, one of the largest festivals in the nation, was marked from Nov 18 to 20.

Among the tourists were 899,870 locals and 10,281 foreigners living in the country, Khon said, adding that, the number of tourists during this year’s Water Festival rose 54 percent compared to that of last year.

“Although a national-level boat racing event (in Phnom Penh) was cancelled, a lot of tourists visited parks in front of the Royal Palace and along Chaktomuk River, the Diamond Island complex, and the Win-Win Monument,” he said.

Khon added that, some provinces such as Kandal, Kampong Speu, Pursat and Banteay Meanchey organised boat races during the occasion, attracting many spectators.

“All tourism sites across the country had been reopened to welcome tourists during the three-day holiday, with the adaptation to the new normal,” he said.

The minister added, tourists felt safe and confident to travel, after they have been inoculated against COVID-19, as hotels and restaurants have been reopened in the new normal. “These prove that we have returned to a new normal, and our economy has begun to recover.” he said.

Cambodia launched a COVID-19 inoculation drive in Feb, with China being the key vaccine supplier. To date, the country has administered at least one vaccine dose to 14.09 million people, or 88 percent of its 16-million population, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Of them, 13.23 million, or 82.7 percent, have been fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 2.13 million, or 13.3 percent, have received a booster dose.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute, said, Cambodia is one of the most fully COVID-19 vaccinated countries in the world, and with its high vaccination coverage, Cambodia is able to return to normal sooner than other countries.

“With a solid herd immunity, Cambodia is now safer to conduct business activities and travelling in the new normal,” he said.

Meanwhile, World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) representative to Cambodia, Li Ailan, urged people to continue exercising caution, although they have been fully vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. The virus is invisible. Stay safe and stay healthy,” she wrote on social media.

The kingdom confirmed 41 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the national total caseload to 119,867, the MoH said, adding that, four more fatalities were registered, taking the overall death toll to 2,900.

Another 39 patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 116,246, the MoH said.–

Source: NAM News Network

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