Cairo, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- Egypt has received 300,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinopharm as a “gift” from the Asian country, health minister Hala Zayed announced on Tuesday.
The delivery arrived at dawn at Cairo International Airport and was received by the undersecretary and spokesperson for the health ministry, Khalid Mujahid, and the Chinese ambassador to Egypt, Liao Li Zhang, the ministry said in a statement.
“This shipment comes within the framework of strengthening the means of cooperation between the two friendly countries to combat the coronavirus,” Mujahid said. “Egypt is the first African country to obtain a coronavirus vaccine and start vaccinating medical personnel.”
Egypt’s vaccination campaign with Sinopharm began with health workers in late January and it is expected to be expanded to include elderly people and those suffering from chronic diseases in the coming weeks.
Africa’s most populated country received 50,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by the United Arab Emirates in December and as many from AstraZeneca in January.
The health authorities last month approved the emergency use of both vaccines.
Egypt, with 100 million inhabitants, is expected to receive millions of doses of the vaccine as part of the World Health Organization’s COVAX mechanism.
Egypt has exceeded 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths and has reported over 179,000 cases. Authorities, however, acknowledge that the official figures do not reflect the situation of the pandemic in the country. EFE-EPA