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Egypt to approve Chinese coronavirus vaccine within hours, says health minister

The announcement comes as the country is currently witnessing a second wave of the coronavirus

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Dec 2020
Hala Zayed
Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed
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Egypt will announce the approval of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine within hours, the county's Health Minister Hala Zayed said during a phone interview with the Saudi satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya on Monday.

Egypt has been conducting tests for the vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm through the National Authority for Drug Control and Research (NODCAR). Egypt received a 50,000-dose batch of the vaccine in mid-December and is set to receive other batches.

The announcement comes as the country is currently witnessing a second wave of the coronavirus with rising daily infections and deaths.

Responding to a question about the actual numbers of coronavirus infections in Egypt, Minister Zayed said "all figures recorded worldwide do not represent 100 percent of the situation on the ground."

"The recorded cases are [only] the infections diagnosed by the health systems," the minister stressed.

Many people do not know that they are infected, while others display mild symptoms and take home-medications without being registered at the health ministry's laboratories, which are responsible for recording infections, she explained.

"This [happens] in all countries, not only Egypt," Zayed added.

Zayed added that "the pandemic reveals itself, and no country can conceal the numbers of infections or deaths."

"All recorded infections and deaths [in Egypt] are 100 percent of the cases that headed to the health ministry [for diagnosis and treatment]," she pointed out.

Despite reporting low rates over the past five months, more than 1,000 people have been infected every day since Thursday, with daily deaths rates hovering at 40-50.

Zayed said that Egypt had expected the increase in infections since the prevalence of respiratory diseases usually increases in December and January each year worldwide.

"The rise was expected and it is being contained," Zayed noted.

Since the outbreak began domestically in February, the virus has so far infected 132,541 and killed 7,405.

Three more doctors in different governorates succumbed to the deadly virus on Monday, the Egyptian Medical Syndicate announced, which brings the total tally of deaths among doctors to 256.

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