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Three detained in Egypt after coronavirus vaccines foun...

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Three detained in Egypt after coronavirus vaccines found dumped

epa08298772 A doctor shows a test kit for coronavirus samples at the Central Public Health Laboratories in Cairo, Egypt, 16 March 2020. The number of cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus causing the Covid-19 disease in Egypt increased to 126. EPA-EFE/MOHAMED HOSSAM
By Reuters
11 Oct 2021 0

CAIRO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Egypt's public prosecution said on Sunday it had ordered the arrest of three people after thousands of unused COVID-19 vaccines were found dumped along a water channel.

It said the vaccines had been allocated to the health directorate in the city of Minya, about 220 km (137 miles) south of Cairo, where 18,400 vaccine packages with a value of more than 5 million Egyptian pounds ($319,000) were found to be missing.

An inventory found nearly 5,000 more packages had been lost from the depot because of storage at improper temperatures, a prosecution statement added. It did not give the number of doses or type of vaccine, but an earlier official statement said they were made by China’s Sinopharm.

Images posted on social media showed piles of white boxes scattered along the water channel’s banks in Bani Mazar province, north of Minya.

The vaccines that were dumped went missing after being given by an authorised pharmacist to the driver of a Health Ministry vehicle to deliver to the Minya directorate, the prosecution said.

Initial investigations held the pharmacist and an official at the directorate’s depot responsible for gross negligence, and they were detained for investigations along with the driver after giving conflicting accounts, the statement said.

Egypt is aiming to vaccinate 40 million of its population of more than 100 million by the end of the year, but has struggled to ramp up its vaccination rate amid delays in supplies and some vaccine hesitancy. ($1 = 15.6600 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Haithem Borai; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]

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