Chairman of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) Abdel Moneim Altras (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Chairman of the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) Abdel Moneim Altras has said Egypt is looking into producing the anticipated Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, which has been under human trials, once the necessary tests are completed.
Altras's remarks were made during a meeting held Thursday with Russian Ambassador to Egypt Georgy Borisenko and chairman of the Egyptian Drug Authority and for the Procurement of Medical Supplies and Technology Bahaa El-Din Zidan.
The meeting tackled the AOI's vision on deepening local manufacturing, transferring and localising technology in many different fields of industry, according to a statement released by the AOI following the meeting.
The AOI chairman said producing the Russian vaccine and making it available in the Egyptian pharmaceutical market is under consideration pending clinical trials necessary to guarantee the safety of the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as yet there is no approved vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has killed over 860,000 and infected around 26 million people globally.
During Thursday's meeting, Altras referred to directives issued by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on localising the technology in the medical and pharmaceutical industries in cooperation with international partners.
"The organisation is working on making use of all available technological and human capabilities to transfer and localise advanced technologies from friendly countries, particularly Russian companies, to develop Egyptian industry's methods and systems as well as train human cadres in accordance with the systems of the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Altras was quoted as saying.
Borisenko, for his part, said his country is looking forward to providing the Egyptian market with the vaccine in cooperation with the AOI, according to the statement.
Russia earlier confirmed that volunteers who took part in clinical trials for the new vaccine have not shown any side effects or caught coronavirus since they were vaccinated.
The third stage of clinical trials of the vaccine, which is concerned with testing the efficacy and safety of the vaccine before it is licensed, is set to be carried out soon on over 2,000 people in Russia and other states, according to Russian media reports.
The Russian ambassador praised the "huge" capabilities of the AOI that encourage Russian corporations to cooperate and exchange expertise. "Egypt is a historical and strategic partner to Russia," he stressed.
Borisenko said Russian companies are looking forward to setting up new partnerships with the AOI in all fields of industry and training.
Egypt has so far reported a total of 99,280 coronavirus cases since the outbreak hit the country in February, including 5,461 deaths and 74,626 recoveries.
Last month, the Egyptian government said that the state will be ready to purchase any coronavirus vaccine once one is available.
Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed in July said Egypt has secured 30 million doses of a promising English vaccine developed by Oxford University.
The Oxford vaccine is still subject to trials, but it has reached advanced stages in many countries and has reached the last phase of trials in Brazil.