China, Egypt mark joint production of 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in Egypt
Updated 13:48, 19-Jul-2021
Vials of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China's Sinovac firm. /CFP

Vials of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by China's Sinovac firm. /CFP

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Sunday attended a ceremony marking the joint production of one million doses of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt.

The ceremony was held during Wang's official visit to Alamein, a coastal city in northern Egypt.

China and Egypt inked a letter of intent for cooperation on COVID-19 vaccine production in December 2020. Local production of the vaccine began in Egypt six months later and reached an output of one million doses after a short time.

With the first batch of vaccines rolling off the production line, Egypt was the first country on the African continent to cooperate with China on COVID-19 vaccine production.

Local production of the Chinese vaccine in Egypt represents another move by China to promote international anti-pandemic cooperation and actively implement Chinese President Xi Jinping's pledge to make the vaccine a global public good – promoting the equal distribution of vaccines and bridging the immunity gap.

The hope is also that the effort will help Africa and the Arab region quickly prevail over the pandemic.

During Wang's visit to Egypt, the two sides said they were highly concerned about the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While continuing to work for a just settlement of the issue, they said they should pay attention to the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, and take concrete measures to help them fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the local production of COVID-19 vaccines in Egypt, the two countries said they would jointly provide 500,000 doses to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip to meet urgent local needs, in coordination with Palestinian authorities. 

(With input from Xinhua)

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