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Cambodia calls off Water Festival for 2nd consecutive year due to COVID-19


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PHNOM PENH, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has cancelled the annual three-day Water Festival for the second consecutive year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Monday.


The festival was scheduled to take place from Nov. 18 to 20.

"According to a government's decision, this year, we will not celebrate the Water Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said in a speech live broadcast on his Facebook page.


Kheng, who is also a deputy prime minister, renewed his call on the public to continue caution as the COVID-19 was still raging across the kingdom.

Water Festival is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast Asian nation, attracting hundreds of thousands of people from rural provinces to capital Phnom Penh to enjoy a regatta along a stretch of the Tonle Sap river in front of the Royal Palace.


Cambodia reported a daily record of 258 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the national total caseload to 115,068, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said, adding that 21 more fatalities had been registered, taking the overall death toll to 2,527.


Additional 546 patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 108,403, the MoH said.

The kingdom launched a COVID-19 inoculation drive in February, with China being the key vaccine supplier.


To date, the country had administered at least one vaccine dose to nearly 13.5 million people, or 84.3 percent of its 16-million population, the MoH said.


Of them, almost 11.5 million, or 71.8 percent, had been fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 923,259 or 5.77 percent, had received a booster dose, it added.



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