Egypt to be gate for "Sputnik V" vaccine to Africa: Russian official

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Tue, 15 Sep 2020 - 11:27 GMT

A handout photo shows an employee demonstrating vials with "Gam-COVID-Vac" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS

A handout photo shows an employee demonstrating vials with "Gam-COVID-Vac" vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (RDIF)/Andrey Rudakov/Handout via REUTERS

CAIRO - 15 September 2020: Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev said Tuesday that Egypt is one of Russia’s main partners in the region.



Egypt can very well be the gate for Russia’s coronavirus vaccine to Africa, Dmitriev said. Indeed, Egypt has a very strong pharmaceutical sector that is widely used to treat critical coronavirus cases in Egyptian hospitals, he acknowledged.



Dmitriev said Russia is currently assessing the ability of the local biopharmaceutical sector to receive and co-produce the “Sputnik V” vaccine.



“Sputnik V” is the first registered vaccine against COVID-19, he noted.



Cairo, he added, has shown interest in “Sputnik V” and is currently in talks with Moscow to import the Russian vaccine.

 

He pointed out that two agreements were recently announced to supply Mexico and Brazil with more than 80 million doses of the vaccine.
 
 
On the supply of the vaccine to the African continent, Dmitriev said: “We are studying the possibility of providing (Sputnik V) vaccine in Africa, in addition that we have received requests from many African countries to support them in fighting the epidemic. We will announce the names of these countries and the quantities of vaccines that will be provided once an agreement is reached with our partners in Africa.
 
 
Dmitriev noted that people all over the world should have equal opportunities to receive the vaccine, regardless of their financial status, religion, residence, or other factors.
 
 
It should be noted that Egypt recorded on Monday, 168 new coronavirus cases and 13 deaths, raising the total number since the beginning of the outbreak in the country  to 101,177 and 5,661 respectively.


As many as 808 patients were discharged from isolation hospitals after receiving necessary medical care, taking the number of recovered cases to 84,969 so far, the spokesman said.

 

Since early last month, the daily number of new cases dropped below 200, except for the last week in August, registering a record drop in daily reported cases on August 22 with only 89 new infections, the lowest daily tally since April.

 

It is noted that the total number of infections in Egypt has surpassed 100,000.

 

However, Egyptian officials have repeatedly urged caution to avoid a second wave of the pandemic, particularly with the advent of autumn and the beginning of the academic year.

 

Egypt reported the first confirmed case of the novel virus on February 14, while the first fatality was recorded on March 8.

 

The Ministry of Health and Population announced Saturday the beginning of clinical trials of two Chinese COVID-19 vaccines on 15,000 volunteers. The tests will last for 60 days while the follow-up will continue for 12 months.

 

The volunteers who are all aged above 18 will be injected with two doses. Sources at the ministry told Al Watan newspaper that 135 vaccines worldwide are being clinically tested, and that only seven – including the two being tested in Egypt – entered the third stage.  

 

Thousands of the volunteers are set to participate in tests at VACSERA.

 

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