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Cambodia calls off Water Festival for 2nd straight yr

 
Phnom Penh, Oct 12 (IANS) For a second consecutive year in a row, Cambodia has cancelled the annual three-day Water Festival to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said.

The festival was scheduled to take place from November 18 to 20, reports Xinhua news agency.

"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 pandemic 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 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 its Covid-19 inoculation drive in February, and has so far administered at least one vaccine dose to nearly 13.5 million people, or 84.3 per cent of its 16-million population.

Of them, almost 11.5 million, or 71.8 per cent, are fully vaccinated with both required shots, and 923,259 or 5.77 per cent, have received a booster dose, it added.

--IANS
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