Morocco to Take Part in Covid-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials Following Two Agreements Signed With Chinese Group CNBG - Minister

Rabat — The signing of two cooperation agreements between Morocco and China National Biotec Group (CNBG) will enable Morocco to take part in the clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine, Minister of Health, Khalid Aït Taleb, said Thursday in Rabat.

This Moroccan-Chinese collaboration will allow the Kingdom to ensure that the Moroccan citizen is among the first served in terms of vaccination against the novel coronavirus, the minister told reporters following the signing ceremony via video conference, simultaneously in Rabat and Beijing, of these agreements.

Morocco will be able, probably very soon, to produce a vaccine as part of the exchange of expertise between Rabat and Beijing, he added.

The return to the normal pre-Covid-19 situation will only be possible with a vaccine, Ait Taleb pointed out, stressing that this vaccine is very promising since it has already been approved by several countries.

The minister also noted that the vaccine trials will initially involve volunteers as of next week, adding that the agreements will allow Morocco to have its own vaccine as soon as possible.

The signing of these agreements is intended to launch a first experience of clinical trials of vaccines in the Kingdom which has a substantial legal arsenal in this area, he added.

The signing ceremony of the agreement between the two parties reflects the excellent strategic relations between China and Morocco in the field of cooperation against Covid-19 which is entering a new phase, said the chargé d'Affaires of the Chinese embassy in Rabat, Jun Mao.

Since the appearance of the epidemic, China and Morocco have initiated a close and fruitful cooperation, the Chinese diplomat added, noting that the foreign ministers of the two countries have had several telephone conversations to establish concrete cooperation.

Regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, Mao noted that the two parties will be able to deepen cooperation through these clinical trials as well as they will be able to achieve satisfying results as soon as possible and benefit both peoples.

Speaking on this occasion, minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita, shed light on the strategic partnership, concluded in May 2016 in Beijing by HM King Mohammed VI and President Xi Jinping, which marked a significant development in the relations between Morocco and China.

The very close cooperation "which has not failed at any time", even at the height of the pandemic, is the daily demonstration of this, the minister noted, adding that Morocco and China have chosen "to face up, actively and in solidarity, this particular challenge in the history of humanity".

These agreements were signed in the presence of the Chairman and CEO of BMCE Bank of Africa Group, Othman Benjelloun, the Chairman and CEO of SOTHEMA, Lamia Tazi as well as the chargé d'Affaires at the Chinese embassy in Rabat, Juan Mao.

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