October 11, 2021

Egypt: COVID-19 Vaccine-Dumpers Arrested

Three Egyptian people have been arrested next to a water channel in the northern region of the country after they allegedly dumped stocks intended to vaccinate against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Images of white boxes laying next to a waterway near the north of Minya – a city roughly 220 kilometres south of capital Cairo – were posted to social media on Sunday, 10 October, causing an uproar.

According to local prosecutors, the shipment of 18 400 unused COVID-19 vaccines – hailing from China’s Sinopharm, and worth roughly $300 000 – went missing after a pharmacist allegedly handed them over to a Health Ministry driver, who was to head for the Minya district.

The doses were to be given to the Minya health directorate, as the medicine was previously improperly stored at the incorrect temperature.

On the same day, per a statement from investigators are holding the unnamed pharmacist and a depot official for gross negligence, while also detaining the driver over conflicting accounts.

Egypt has recorded 312 413 cases of COVID-19; to date, 263 557 people have recovered, while 17 695 have died from the virus.