CAIRO – 26 August 2020: Egypt'a Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced Wednesday during the Cabinet meeting that a cooperation agreement will be signed in September with one of the Chinese companies to manufacture the coronavirus vaccine.
Discussions of the procedures of the agreement came during a meeting between Minister Zayed and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Li Zhang.
The parties of the agreement are the Egyptian Holding Company for Biopharmaceuticals and Vaccines Vacsera and one of the Chinese companies; it is signed under the auspices of the Egyptian and Chinese governments.
Zayed-Zhang meeting tackled setting protocols to combat the coronavirus, in addition to cooperation in research on viruses and epidemics.
Concerns of possible resurgence of infections
Egypt announced 141 new infections with COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 18 deaths recorded. On Saturday, the infections rate was 89, a record drop in daily reported cases since April, with 12 deaths.
During the Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stressed that continuing to apply all protective measures is a must as the fall season approaches, warning that a noticeable increase in number of infections has been witnessed recently, which prompts us to adhere to precautionary measures and impose punishments on violators to avoid a second wave.
For her part, Minister Zayed also presented the procedures to be followed during this stage in light of the recent increase in infection rate, including increasing the pace of work on public health initiatives, especially the ones to treat chronic diseases, as well as raising awareness to adhere to infection control standards at all state facilities.
On the other hand, the head of the Scientific Committee to Confront the coronavirus Hossam Hosni expected that Egypt will reach zero severe infections mid-September.
Anti-COVID-19 procedures ongoing
Zayed further reviewed the latest developments regarding the anti-COVID-19 measures, and expected scenarios for a possible second wave of the virus. She also said that “finding a vaccine will not prevent the transmission of the virus among people, but will reduce the chance of infection spread, and will reduce the severity of the symptoms in case the infection happened.”
She explained that a second wave might occur because the people falsely believe the epidemic is over, which prompts them to not adhere to precautionary measures like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing at means of the transport and outside homes.
She ensured that all procedures of the hotline 105 are reviewed. Medical staff are also being trained via e-learning platforms on intensive care skills, infection control and treatment protocols.
Among the required procedures she cited is conducting PCR tests for private truck drivers, and medical crew at laboratories.
Within the framework of international coordination to face the pandemic, a ministerial team was formed within the Eastern Mediterranean region concerned with responding to the Coronavirus pandemic. This ministerial team held a meeting attended by representatives from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Somalia to identify effective practices to confront COVID-19, taking into account the different circumstances of each country.