Chinese ambassador says vaccine donation to Egypt ‘reflection of friendship’


China’s ambassador to Egypt said his government’s donation of 300,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to the Middle Eastern country was a “reflection of friendship” between the two countries’ heads of state.

Ambassador Liao Liqiang told a news conference that, ever since the outbreak, the two countries had been committed to showing solidarity and cooperation with each other.

China had decided to provide Egypt with 300,000 Sinopharm doses, enough to vaccinate 150,000 people, in the interest of traditional friendship, comprehensive strategic partnership and mutual assistance between the two countries in facing the virus, he said.

He said that this push was in order to support the efforts of the Egyptian government to ensure people’s safety and that it came within efforts to deepen the traditional friendship between Egypt and China and strengthen bilateral cooperation in facing the pandemic.

He said that this bilateral cooperation in confronting the coronavirus started a new page of solidarity, and that his country would not forget Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi sending the Chinese health minister a gift of solidarity during these most difficult times. Egypt also lit up its archaeological monuments with the colors of the Chinese flag.

He said that China had provided batches of medical supplies to Egypt to support its efforts in fighting the virus, and that this measure reflected the personal friendship between the leaders of the two countries, the depth of Egyptian-Chinese relations and the affection of Chinese people toward Egyptians. China would also provide a batch of vaccines to the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States.

The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior announced that, in a single week, it had collected EGP5 million ($319,038) in fines from citizens who did not wear a protective face mask, as part of precautionary measures taken to fight the virus.

It said that 97,580 people were arrested in a week for not wearing protective masks and that 96,635 people had paid the fine. Prosecution authorities had approached 945 people who did not pay the prescribed fine, it added.

According to the ministry, the total fines paid in a week for not wearing a medical mask amounted to EGP4,831,750.

Last May, the government issued an order obliging workers and those frequenting markets, shops, government establishments, private establishments, banks, all means of collective transport, whether public or private, to wear protective masks. Those failing to adhere to these decisions were fined up to EGP4,000.

Egypt’s coronavirus cases have been declining.

The Ministry of Health and Population said on Saturday night that 509 new cases and 44 coronavirus-related deaths had been recorded during the last 24 hours, a decline from the numbers recorded on Friday.

As of Saturday night, 169,106 coronavirus cases had been recorded in Egypt. There have been 132,054 recoveries and 9,604 deaths.

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