Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (C), Health Minister Hala Zayed (2nd L) and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang (2nd R) pose for photos after a signing ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, April 21, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac signed an agreement on Wednesday to manufacture Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in the North African country.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Health Minister Hala Zayed and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang, who later held talks together and lauded the two countries' cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madbouly expressed gratitude to Liao for China's valuable support to Egypt in dealing with the coronavirus, saying the deal is "very important" as it gives Egypt the opportunity to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines locally.
The prime minister said he looks forward to the implementation of the agreement and the local production of Sinovac vaccine as soon as possible.
For his part, Liao stressed China's appreciation of its strategic partnership with Egypt as well as the distinguished relations between the leaders of both countries.
The signing of this agreement is a new milestone in China-Egypt's anti-epidemic cooperation, and it will play an important role in helping Egypt and the Middle East as well as Africa combat the epidemic, the ambassador noted.
Egypt started in late January vaccinating medical staff of governmental hospitals with a COVID-19 vaccine made by another leading Chinese drugmaker, Sinopharm, the first-approved vaccine by the Egyptian Drug Authority.
In early March, the most populous Arab country began to vaccinate elderly people and patients with chronic diseases against the highly infectious coronavirus.
So far, Egypt has reported 218,902 COVID-19 cases, including 12,866 deaths and 164,803 recoveries.