His Excellency Mam Bunheng (Minister of Health), Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen, Leaders of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Interior and other Relevant Departments!
So far, the procurement process (or search for) vaccines has been in full swing. At the same time, the vaccination process in this first step, we have achieved better results in both the military and civilian sectors. In order for this work to move forward (even better), I would like to propose the establishment of an ad-hoc commission to take up the responsibility in the provision of vaccination in both the civilian, military and police sectors. Let me point out (the person we needed). Let us appoint Lok Chumteav Or Vandin as the chairperson of the ad-hoc commission in charge of administering vaccinations across the country, which prepares the master plan that follows the steps we have taken so far. In the time to come, vaccines will be available one after the other and it is necessary to have a specific master plan, as I said in our meeting yesterday, on some of the target groups that we need to provide.
I request Lok Chumteav Or Vandin to be the chairperson of the ad-hoc commission. For this matter, she must be requesting the Minister or coming to me to appoint someone else in the Ministry of Health and in the relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Ministry of Interior to participate in this commission. If we do not do this, the work will be complicated and slow to implement. We have two units to organize. First, it is the unit that will lead the procurement for the purchase (of vaccines) and other assistance by asking for my advice, including the one today to purchase an additional four million doses.
The matter now is planning the master plan clearly and in line with the actual situation in happening. I am requesting His Excellency Mam Bunheng urgently discuss with Lok Chumteav Or Vandin on who else is needed to join the ad-hoc commission in this regard. The Commission on this matter must also liaise with other relevant institutions … His Excellency Mam Bun Heng may organize and set some of the Secretaries of State and Undersecretaries of State (tasks) to participate in any work related to the fight against Covid-19.
Of course, the Ministry of Health is not only responsible for Covid-19, but also for treating other diseases and other issues. However, we should set aside a number of Secretaries of State and Undersecretaries of State to take up works specifically on Covid-19. In doing so, I think the vaccination process will go well with a specific master plan. I am asking His Excellency Mam Bunheng to discuss with Lok Chumteav Or Vandin on the preparation of the decision to establish this commission, to which Lok Chumteav Or Vandin is the chairperson. Lok Chumteav Or Vandin must recruit people in relevant institutions, and in the Ministry of Health, there must be someone to do this job. This is primarily the issue about which I am sending the message (because) otherwise our vaccination process will be slow. In cases involving the provinces, we may have ad-hoc sub-commissions as indicated by Lok Chumteav Or Vandin, if necessary.
I am bringing this up so that each province and each institution sees and takes up responsibility. This is about the Ad-hoc Commission for Vaccination Process … (since) there are two (types of units involved in) Vaccination Processes here. One is relating to procurement, and the other one is about vaccination process. The national vaccination process/campaign by the ad-hoc vaccination commission headed by Lok Chumteav Or Vandin, if necessary, may establish sub-commissions at the municipal and provincial level to acquire specific responsibilities for the organization and registration of people/workers (for vaccination). Institutions may also set up ad-hoc commissions for vaccination of their staff, especially the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, which needs to provide injection in the future to workers and to prepare a list of factories in the affected areas, while deciding workers where to get the jabs first.
For the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, we have just decided to give teachers in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Prey Veng, Koh Kong and Sihanoukville the urgency (for vaccination). We need to make it clear that each institution must also be in charge, such as the Ministry of Education, which must be in charge of the teaching staff and the students. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training is also responsible for the relevant issues of workers in factories, enterprises and workers in informal sectors, whom we also needed to give attention. As already happened, we have provided vaccination for those waste collecting workers. We still have a number of other workers to give priority in the injection.
The provincial and municipal (authorities) must keep in touch with fundamentally with, especially, the market, vendors, as well as the taxi, tricycle drivers and other priority groups. In my opinion, in addition to the ad-hoc national commission, chaired by Lok Chumteav Or Vandin, there should also be ad-hoc commissions at institutions and sub-commissions at the provincial and municipal levels responsible for the vaccination campaign process. We plan to vaccinate at least 10 million people. It is a large number that we needed to have specific responsibilities from the national level institution and for that I pointed out (the candidacy) of Lok Chumteav Or Vandin as the chairperson of the ad-hoc national commission (for vaccination). Starting now, Lok Chumteav Or Vandin must take over the vaccination work in progress as we have done for all doctors/medical professionals, and their spouses. We have already set the principles. We must give vaccination priority to teachers in the risk areas.
We have already included in the plan (for vaccination) those in taxes, customs, electricity, water supply, garbage collection workers, trade unions, national social security fund, and in demining. (We have our plan already where) the remaining vaccines will go. For upcoming vaccines, projected to be somewhere 1.5 million doses, and possibly more, we need to have a clear plan as to where or what group of people to receive them and how to go about training, how to make a specific master plan to work well.
I request that HE Mam Bunheng, Lok Chumteav Or Vandin work immediately on this matter and I hope that this work will go well with the responsibilities of all institutions, which in addition to their staff also have those under their responsibilities. For instance, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, and others that have departments and working levels under its jurisdiction, whose staff and subordinates require vaccination. In the provinces, there may be markets, shops, places where all people can get the vaccine free of charge, and in addition, there are foreigners living in Cambodia that we needed to prioritize accordingly for vaccination. This is a regulation … so that the Minister of Health, along with those responsible in the institution (orient their actions) on combatting Covid-19 with clear division of responsibilities.
What I wanted stress at this time is the ad-hoc commission at national level on vaccination, if necessary, can create the ad-hoc sub-commissions at institutional, municipal and provincial levels, depending on the discussions between HE Mam Bunheng and Lok Chumteav Or Vandin. I leave this decision making right to Lok Chumteav Or Vandin. I would like to thank His Excellency and Lok Chumteav for paying attention to the issues I brought up in this voicemail. This is not an audio message for broadcast, but if it leaks, just let it be since we have work to do. We have no secrets with our people. We need to inject our population between 10 and 13 million. We have (already) signed contracts, and according to information we got, some 1.5 million doses (of vaccines) will arrive in the near future and more will continue to arrive. We still have the remaining amount of Sinopharm coming. Some 1.5 million doses of Sinovac will also be arrving. More doses of AstraZaneca will follow. We are also looking to buy US Johnson & Johnson. Let there be specific responsibilities on this issue.
This is a regulation that I do not need to discuss, because I already understand the mechanism of this management and have discussed with HE Mam Bun Heng many times about issues related to the vaccination process. I need to set up a mechanism and use all-out strengths to push the vaccination at a fast pace so that the vaccine does not go out of date and deliver the vaccine to the people as soon as possible to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Thank you, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs./.