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Egypt Arrests Three After 20,000+ Vaccines Found Dumped in Waterway

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Egypt Arrests Three After 20,000+ Vaccines Found Dumped in Waterway

Respectively: c. Al Ahram Online | c. Al Khaleej Today

Egyptian Public Prosecution authorities ordered the immediate detaining of three men on Sunday 11 October pending investigations into their alleged mishandling of Sinopharm vaccine doses in Minya.

Residents of Minya found thousands of COVID-19 vaccine packages dumped in a wastewater canal in Abshaq, Bani Mazar last Thursday. After quickly informing local authorities, villagers took to social media to express concern.

Minya Governor Major General Osama El-Qadi launched an urgent investigation into the matter. The vaccines had been alloted to the Minya Health Directorate, and after thorough review, the investigation reported a shortage of about 18,400 vaccine packages worth upwards of five-million Egyptian pounds ($319,000).

According to the Egyptian Public Prosecution, a total of 13,412 packages found in the waterway are now unsalvageable and 8,944 remain unaccounted for.

Initial investigations accused a pharmacist and directorate official of gross negligence, resulting in them being placed into immediate custody. After conflicting accounts of how the shipment was lost, a driver allegedly responsible for shipping vaccine doses was also detained pending further investigation into the matter.

Egypt is seeking to vaccinate forty-million of its population by the end of 2021. Thus far, only 5.6 percent (16 million citizens) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To date, Egypt has dealt with 309,135 cumulative infection cases and 17,545 deaths.

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With a heart for radio and an appetite for culture, Mona is a writer and illustrator based in Cairo. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she obtained a BSc and MA in Media, Culture, and Society, while actively writing for the faculty magazine. After graduating, Mona was an academic advisor at the American University in Cairo, as well as Managing Director of a small, campus-based advertising firm. Gears shifting, her knack for cultural research took over - enter: Egyptian Streets. Mona’s focus is tapered to issues of identity politics, culture, and social architecture.

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