Wed, October 20, 2021

international

Vital Chinese supplies arrive in India


NEW DELHI/CAIRO-Anti-epidemic supplies including 100 oxygen concentrators and 40 ventilators donated by the Red Cross Society of China, or RCSC, arrived in India on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet.

The shipment by a Chinese cargo flight from China's southwestern city of Chengdu was the first batch of anti-epidemic supplies donated by the RCSC to India, he said.

Sun also said the RCSC has decided to provide $1 million in cash to the Indian Red Cross Society through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help India fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Nothing in the world is more precious than people's lives. The rights to subsistence and development are the basic human rights of paramount importance," Sun said. "Actions of RCSC shine the humanitarian spirit and highlight the purpose of dedication and protection of human life and health."

Calls grew for India to impose a nationwide lockdown as new cases and deaths held close to record highs on Monday, increasing pressure on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Many states have imposed strict lockdowns over the last month while others have placed curbs on movement and shut cinemas, restaurants, pubs and shopping malls.

The 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths reported for the latest 24-hour period by the health ministry were off a little from recent peaks, but took India's tally to 22.66 million with 246,116 deaths.

By Sunday, the world's largest vaccine-producing nation had fully vaccinated just over 34.3 million people, or only 2.5 percent of its population of about 1.35 billion, government data shows.

The Indian Medical Association has called for a "complete, well-planned, pre-announced" lockdown.

Egypt vaccine deal

Meanwhile in Egypt, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Sunday that her country will start producing a COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotec next month.

Zayed said the first 2 million doses will be produced in June at the plants of the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines, or VACSERA.

"We will receive the first shipment of the raw materials needed to manufacture the vaccine on May 18," Zayed told a news conference in Cairo, adding that 40 million doses will be produced in the first year.

Zayed said two agreements were signed between Sinovac and VACSERA in April, with the first one enabling the Egyptian company to obtain the expertise and technical assistance to produce the vaccine; the second agreement grants VACSERA the license to manufacture and pack the vaccine in its factories.

The Sinovac vaccine to be produced in Egypt will be called Sinovac-Vacsera, the minister said.

Egypt started in late January to vaccinate medical workers at governmental hospitals with a COVID-19 vaccine made by another leading Chinese drugmaker, Sinopharm. It was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the Egyptian Drug Authority.

In early March, the most populous Arab country began vaccinating the elderly and patients with chronic diseases against the highly infectious coronavirus.

By Monday, Egypt had reported 236,272 COVID-19 cases, including 13,845 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Published : May 11, 2021

By : China Daily/ANN