Three Health Ministry workers have been arrested in Egypt for dumping thousands of coronavirus vaccines down the drain.
The incident took place in an unspecified city in the Egyptian governorate of Minya, approximately 245 kilometres (152 miles) south of the capital Cairo.
The public prosecutor announced late on Sunday evening on social media that “an investigative committee” had “found a shortage of 18,400 vaccine doses in the Minya health directorate storage inventory worth EGP 5,023,200 (GBP 234,000).”
According to local reports, 13,412 of the doses were found dumped and another 4,988 have gone missing.
The three suspects who have been arrested have not been named, but one was a pharmacist, another was a driver, and the third was a storage inspector. All three reportedly worked for the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
They are currently facing charges of “gross negligence” and “misappropriation of public funds”, the public prosecutor said.
They have been detained pending the outcome of the authorities’ investigation into the matter.
Local media reported on the incident after images of discarded vaccines made the rounds on social media in Egypt last week, with many netizens calling for those responsible to be held to account.
Nader Saad, a spokesperson for the Egyptian government, announced last week that the country, which counts over 100 million people, had fully vaccinated nearly 7 million people.
Over 70,000 people have died due to complications linked to the coronavirus in Egypt since the beginning of the pandemic.