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Egypt licenses China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use; Israel reports 7 more cases of new coronavirus strain

(Xinhua)    09:08, January 04, 2021

CAIRO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Egypt said on Saturday that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm has been officially licensed for emergency use in the country. Meanwhile, Israel on Sunday detected seven more cases of the new coronavirus variant.

In a local TV show on Saturday, The Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said that the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) had issued the license for the emergency use of the Chinese vaccine.

Egypt received the first batch of Sinopharm vaccines on Dec. 10, 2020. The minister said that the batch went through four tests conducted by the EDA and they all proved the safety of the vaccine. She added that Egypt will receive the second shipment of COVID-19 vaccines within days, which are expected to be provided to citizens later in January.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Egypt and China have been cooperating closely in the fight against the pandemic through medical aid and expertise exchanges.

Israel's Ministry of Health reported 4,573 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 438,372. The death toll of the virus in Israel increased to 3,412 with 28 new fatalities, while the number of patients in serious condition rose from 739 to 761, out of 1,295 hospitalized patients.

The ministry also reported seven new cases of the new coronavirus variant. This increased the total number of patients who tested positive for the new strain in Israel to 30.

Iran added 5,960 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, raising the total nationwide number to 1,243,434. The pandemic has so far claimed 55,540 lives in the country, up by 102 in the past 24 hours, according to the country's health ministry.

The ministry also reported that a total of 1,013,018 people have recovered from the disease and been discharged from hospitals, while 4,953 remain in intensive care units.

In Iraq, the country's health ministry reported on Sunday 741 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest since last June, bringing the total nationwide infections to 597,774.

The ministry also reported five new deaths, raising the death toll from the infectious virus to 12,834, and 1,974 more recovered cases, bringing the total recoveries to 543,720.

Also on Sunday, Oman reported 537 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 129,404.

The health ministry urged everyone to adhere to the preventive measures issued by the government. Last week, the kingdom launched a nationwide free COVID-19 vaccination campaign for citizens and residents.

The Qatari health ministry on Sunday announced 197 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the Gulf state to 144,437. The country also reported zero death case related to the virus for six days in a row.

Lebanon registered on Sunday 2,870 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 189,278, while the death toll increased by 10 to 1,499, the Health Ministry said.

Charaf Abou Charaf, head of Lebanese Order of Physicians, said that the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing rapidly in Lebanon which makes it impossible to secure hospitals' beds for new infections.

Abou Charaf added that the medical staff has become scarce in Lebanon, noting that 200 doctors are in quarantine while 15 doctors are currently staying in the intensive care units.

In Kuwait, the country's health authority reported 269 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally of infections to 151,343, while the death toll remained at 937.

Morocco on Sunday reported 1,005 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of infections in the country to 443,146.

The death toll rose to 7,485 with 33 new fatalities during the last 24 hours, while 1,102 people are in intensive care units.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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