Egypt is confident that China has the ability to overcome the novel coronavirus, Abdel-Mohsen Salama CEO of Al-Ahram Foundation, described the virus, known as COVID-19, as “a universal virus” that is not restricted to China or any other specific country.

The novel coronavirus has infected around 93,000 people worldwide. China announced on Wednesday that the confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Chinese mainland exceeded 80,000, nearly 50,000 of whom have recovered while less than 3,000 have died.

“It’s obvious that the recovery rate is high, which is hopeful and reassuring,” Salama noted.

“I have great confidence in China’s ability to contain this crisis, and this can be seen in the recent positive indications of the declining infection and mortality rates and the rising recovery rate,” he said.

Noting that Egypt and China enjoy a distinguished relationship that has been raised to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership, Salama said that the virus outbreak will have little impact on the China-Egypt ties.

“I believe there is no real impact of the virus issue on Egypt’s economic relations and joint projects with China,” he said, adding that if there is any temporary impact, it will be so brief and everything will come back to normal after the crisis is over.

Under China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), which seeks to link participating states via win-win partnerships and joint development projects, several Chinese corporations are currently carrying out mega national projects in Egypt in various fields including construction, energy and transport.

“China is a friend of Egypt and the Egyptian-Chinese relations are deep-rooted since their mutual trade via the ancient Silk Road,” said Salama.

Egypt is very keen on maintaining its strategic partnership with China under the BRI, according to Salama.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation is currently working on the construction of a 20-tower central business district in Egypt’s new administrative capital city, which is considered a milestone in Egypt’s development and modernisation.

“The Chinese-built projects in Egypt, such as the construction of the massive business district in the new capital, will not be affected at all,” the Al-Ahram Chief said.

Salama expressed his belief that the COVID-19 will soon decline worldwide, citing that it is not the first epidemic that has spread worldwide, and similar ones in the past were contained in a short time.

Salama lamented that some parties have exaggerated the virus issue in an attempt to harm the Chinese economy, describing it as “blatant and shameful.”

Egypt has repeatedly expressed solidarity with China in combating the new epidemic. It has donated tons of medical supplies to China and has recently lit up famous monuments in red with yellow stars, in the form of the national flag of China, as a sign of support.

Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed is now on a visit to China to convey a message of solidarity to the Chinese government and people in fighting the novel coronavirus, and to exchange relevant medical expertise with the Chinese side.

“China is facing a crisis now and we all should back it. I call on the whole world to support China, for China is a friendly state and a peaceful big power that deserves support and solidarity,” Salama said.

Such support will help China overcome the epidemic soon “for the good of all humanity, not only China,” he added.

Editor’s Note: The article reflects the author’s opinion only, and not necessarily the views of editorial opinion of Belt & Road News.