PHNOM PENH – A plane carrying the third batch of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the capital of Cambodia Wednesday night.

“The arrival of the vaccine today is another testament to the unbreakable iron-clad friendship between Cambodia and China,” Cambodia’s Health Ministry secretary of state Yok Sambath told reporters while receiving the vaccine at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

She expressed her profound gratitude to China for generously providing the vaccine to Cambodia, saying that the donation was timely as the Southeast Asian nation has been sparing no effort to contain the third COVID-19 community transmission, which broke out on Feb. 20.

According to Sambath, so far Cambodia had received more than 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China and the World Health Organization’s COVAX Facility.

The kingdom launched an anti-COVID-19 inoculation drive on Feb 10. To date, some 1.3 million out of the country’s 16 million population had been vaccinated against the virus, a government report said.

The kingdom registered 698 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest-ever single-day number of infections, pushing the national tally to 11,761, with 88 fatalities, the Ministry of Health said. Currently, there are 6,968 active cases in the country.