Its official, Egypt signs agreement to produce Sinovac-Chinese vaccine as infection rate soars
London, April 22, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Egypt has officially signed agreement with China to produced Sinovac, the Chinese covid-19 vaccine locally
On Wednesday, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly witnessed the signing of the two agreements between Egypt’s VACSERA and China’s Sinovac biopharmaceutical company in Cairo to produce the Sinovac vaccine locally.
Health Minister Hala Zayed, Egypt’s ambassador to Beijing Mohamed El-Badry and China’s ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang attended the signing ceremony between the two companies’ officials.
Minister Zayed said that according to the first agreement, Sinovac will provide VACSERA the know-how and technical assistance for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt, while the second agreement stipulates that Sinovac gives VACSERA the license to manufacture, re-pack and pack the COVID-19 vaccine in VACSERA facilities.
Under the agreements, Sinovac is ready to provide the necessary training for VACSERA employees in Egypt.
The Egyptian governorate of Sohag has been witnessing “a slight but continuous” increase in the number of coronavirus infections, the health minister said on Wednesday amid reports of an “unprecedented rise” in COVID-19 cases in the Upper Egyptian governorate.
“While Sohag’s weekly infection rate during the first wave reached 600 cases, it has been witnessing a slight but continuous increase in the recent period at a rate of 400-450 cases per week amid the third wave of the virus,” Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a statement.
Egypt, which has yet to hit the peak of the third wave, had been detecting more than 1,700 coronavirus cases daily during last summer’s peak of first wave, compared to the more recent announced daily cases that has been hovering around 800 cases.
Minister Zayed’s description of the ongoing situation in Sohag came in response to recent reports of an “abnormal increase in infections and deaths” in the governorate.
On Sunday, Mahmoud Fahmy, the head of the Doctors Syndicate in Sohag, said in TV statements that he had requested that the governor of Sohag impose a curfew “before it is too late,” but his call was rebuffed.
“During the last 48 hours, we lost five doctors due to coronavirus. There is an abnormal increase in infections and deaths in the governorate,” Fahmy said, adding that isolation hospitals are full, and the governorate is short on ventilators due to the steady rise in cases.
While Sohag’s MP Mostafa Salem echoed the same warning, he also asked the education ministry to suspend classes and for the health ministry to increase the number of isolation hospitals.
“Throughout the day, I receive calls from citizens asking for beds in isolation hospitals and ICUs,” Salem told Extra News channel on Sunday. He also urged the health ministry to provide more vaccination unites since the “governorate of 5.5 million citizens only has three vaccination centres.”
On Wednesday, the health minister ordered the increase of coronavirus-designated hospitals in the governorate to 17, and to increase ICU beds to 166 and ventilators to 58, instead of 100 and 48 respectively.