"Chinese doctors are role models" -- Cambodian student joins Chinese medical team to fight COVID-19

March 31, 2020


 Sok Sambo (2nd L) volunteers to work as an interpreter for the Chinese COVID-19 medical team in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 25, 2020. (Photo provided by Sok Sambo)

For 32-year-old Cambodian medical student Sok Sambo, he has no hesitation in volunteering to work as the translator for the Chinese COVID-19 medical team in Cambodia, though he knows that the job has high risks.

The seven-member team of Chinese doctors, along with tons of medical supplies, arrived in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, on Monday to help combat the epidemic, as the country has so far reported a total of 98 confirmed cases of the virus.

As a medical student at the Guangxi Medical University in Nanning City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sambo said he was happy to help the Chinese medical team on their mission to help Cambodia combat the virus.

"I know it's a risky job because I have to follow them to inspect designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients, to visit patients and to see communities and people who have close contact with patients," he told Xinhua on Friday. "But this is my meager contribution to help Cambodia fight against the virus."

A vendor wearing mask is seen in front of the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 25, 2020. (Xinhua/Mao Pengfei)

Sambo said the Chinese doctors specialize in the fields of infectious disease prevention, pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Since their arrival, the Chinese doctors have met with Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bunheng and visited several health facilities for COVID-19 patients.

They visited the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, the Chak Angre Health Center, a laboratory, a Muslim community in Phnom Penh, where a few Cambodian Muslims were infected with the virus when they attended a mass Islamic religious ceremony in Malaysia.

"When they met with Cambodian health officials, they always share with them their experience in preventing and containing the virus spread, and in treating the patients," Sambo said. "I believe that with their assistance, Cambodia will be able to contain the virus soon and to heal patients more effectively."

A man waits for the Chinese medical team at the Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Lay)

He said the volunteering job has also provided him a very good opportunity to learn experience from the Chinese medical experts.

"I don't want to praise the Chinese doctors, but I just speak the truth: they work very hard, visiting various places and meeting people at daytime and writing reports at nighttime," he said.

"They are a role model for other doctors, and when I graduate, I'll try my best to serve my people," he added.

Cambodia has recorded a total of 98 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, said a Ministry of Health's statement released late on Thursday, adding that 11 of the patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital.