Roundup: 2020 witnesses growing cooperation between Egypt, China in fighting COVID-19

2021-01-01 12:05:12 GMT2021-01-01 20:05:12(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CAIRO, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- As the countdown is ticking for the beginning of the New Year, the outgoing 2020 bears witness to the growing cooperation between Egypt and China in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the whole world over the past 12 months.

Hours before the New Year begins, China and Egypt signed a letter of intent for cooperation on anti-coronavirus vaccines, after the North African country received a batch of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese giant drugmaker Sinopharm in December, 2020.

The letter was signed in Cairo by Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang on behalf of the National Health Commission of China, and Egyptian Assistant Health Minister for Public Health Initiatives Mohamed Hassani, in the presence of Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed.

"Egypt-China relations are particularly friendly, and their cooperation in health field has been further expanded," Zayed said on Thursday.

The Egyptian minister added that "the Phase III clinical trial of Sinopharm's vaccine in Egypt is progressing smoothly, and its safety and effectiveness have been scientifically certified."

For his part, Liao said that "China and Egypt have helped each other amid the menacing epidemic," stressing that the signing of the letter of intent is embodied cooperation between the two countries to build a healthy community.

The vaccine is not the only aspect of medical cooperation between the two countries in fighting the viral disease, for their exchange of medical aid and expertise demonstrated a new dimension of their friendship throughout 2020.

In the beginning of the crisis and in the middle of China's fierce battle against the novel coronavirus, Egypt expressed wholehearted support for the Asian friend, donated tons of medical supplies to China in late January, 2020 and sent the Egyptian health minister to visit China in last March as a sign of solidarity.

While the Egyptian minister was flying to Beijing, Egypt simultaneously lit up three of its famous historical sites, including ancient temples in Luxor and Aswan, in red and golden stars to resemble the national flag of China, expressing solidarity with the Chinese people during their battle against the pandemic.

In response, after it managed to curb the spread of the virus, China returned favor by sending three batches of medical aid to Egypt, the latest of which was delivered in mid-May, 2020.

In last April, a joint Egyptian-Chinese plant for producing high-quality surgical face masks was inaugurated in an industrial zone in Cairo. The joint venture between Egypt's Euromed for Medical Industries and China's Ningbo A Plus Import and Export Co., Ltd targets a production capacity of 1.5 million masks per day.

The Sino-Egyptian cooperation was not restricted to medical aid and expertise, but went on to reach joint cultural activities.

In last mid-May, Egyptian and Chinese musicians staged a virtual performance of the Triumphal March from the world-famous opera Aida to inspire people in such difficult times.

Later in last June, musicians from China's Liaoning Symphony Orchestra and Cairo Symphony Orchestra staged an online concert of classical music to mark the 64th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Enditem