Egypt to test coronavirus vaccine

Egypt will test two coronavirus vaccines on volunteers from Sept. 12, the Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed has said. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Egypt to test coronavirus vaccine

  • Zayed warned that Egypt remains in the first wave of the outbreak, but can adapt to the virus through successful vaccine trials
  • The minister said that from Saturday volunteers will be invited for testing

CAIRO: Egypt will test two coronavirus vaccines on volunteers from Sept. 12, the Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed has said.
The trial vaccines have so far succeeded in their first, second and third phases in other countries.
About 135 vaccines entered clinical trials, with only seven reaching the third phase.
In a statement, Zayed explained the phase system. The third phase will prove the safety of a drug, its appropriate dosage, and whether it provides immunity, she said.
“With regards to the seven vaccines that reached the third stage, we worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations and entered into a large alliance in Geneva in order to secure our needs. We reserved 30 million doses. Tomorrow, we will start the third phase of clinical research for the two vaccines with other countries,” Zayed said.
The minister said that from Saturday volunteers will be invited for testing.
“The two vaccines belong to a Chinese company that gives basic vaccinations for polio and is one of the leading companies in the field,” Zayed added.
A working group was formed from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Ministry of Justice and the Drug Authority to oversee clinical research to develop vaccines and supervise the third phase.
The minister said Egypt is well-regarded for successfully fighting the pandemic.
“Egypt is one of the countries known for managing the crisis well and we care about saving lives,” Zayed said.
She warned that Egypt remains in the first wave of the outbreak, but can adapt to the virus through successful vaccine trials.


Lebanon to ease virus curbs from Monday

Updated 44 min 9 sec ago

Lebanon to ease virus curbs from Monday

  • The health minister said Lebanon “will gradually reopen from Monday” to give citizens and businesses a respite ahead of Christmas

BEIRUT: Lebanon is from Monday to gradually ease restrictions imposed two weeks ago after a surge in coronavirus infections, in a bid to relieve its struggling economy in time for the festive season, officials said.
Acting health minister Hamad Hassan told reporters the country “will gradually reopen from Monday” to give citizens and businesses a respite ahead of Christmas and end of year holidays.
He said restaurants will reopen at 50 percent capacity, but bars and nightclubs will remain closed and weddings prohibited, while an overnight curfew will start from 11 p.m. instead of 5pm.
Schools would also reopen but with some classes still held online, Hassan said after a meeting of Lebanon’s coronavirus task force.
He warned that the “danger” of a rise in infections still exists and that the hoped-for results to stem the virus thanks to the curbs would not be known for several days.
Before the two-week restrictions went into force in mid-November, bed occupancy in hospital intensive care units was between 80 and 90 percent while “now it stands at 65-70 percent,” Hassan said.
Since February, the country has recorded more than 125,000 Covid-19 cases, including around 1,000 deaths.
Lebanon, with a population of around six million, had been recording some 11,000 coronavirus infections on average each week before mid-November, according to the health ministry.
A first country-wide lockdown imposed in March was effective in stemming the spread of the virus, before restrictions were gradually lifted as summer beckoned people outdoors.
But the number of cases surged following a monstrous blast at Beirut’s port on August 4 that killed more than 200 people, wounded at least 6,500 and overwhelmed hospitals.
The blast and the pandemic have exacerbated tensions in the Mediterranean country which has been grappling with its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.