Spotlight: Chinese construction giant continues work in Egypt's new administrative capital amid COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-05-27 23:07:59|Editor: huaxia

CAIRO, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Despite challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a Chinese construction giant is continuing to push ahead with the huge Central Business District (CBD) project in Egypt's new administrative capital.

At the CBD site, some 50 km east of Egypt's capital of Cairo, Egyptian and Chinese engineers and workers are sparing no effort to advance construction, while actively implementing pandemic prevention measures.

"Chinese companies in Egypt are taking strict precautionary measures to maintain the work momentum in different projects amid the COVID-19 outbreak," Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang said during an online news conference held Thursday.

"All Chinese projects are progressing as usual in light of the continuous dialogue between the two countries for pushing bilateral ties forward," he added.

Han Bing, minister counselor for economic and commercial affairs of the Chinese embassy in Cairo, said during the news conference, "Chinese companies have promoted the awareness of the workers about precautionary measures of the pandemic."

"China is aimed at boosting the work in the ongoing projects in Egypt," Han said, adding that Chinese companies have taken strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including mandating wearing face masks, measuring workers' temperatures, cleaning sites, and preventing workers from gathering in large groups.

Han said that no single COVID-19 case has been registered among the Egyptian or Chinese workers in the related companies.

He confirmed that the CBD construction work, which was officially started in May 2018 by CSCEC Egypt, a subsidiary of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), hasn't stopped or been impacted amid the pandemic.

The project involves the construction of 20 towers by a 3000-strong team of workers, including the 385-meter-high giant Iconic Tower, which is expected to be the tallest tower in Africa upon completion.

Recently, the epidemic prevention working group of CSCEC held emergency training on how to respond to finding, reviewing, transferring, receiving, and quarantining suspected COVID-19 cases.

"The training session has further strengthened prevention and control efforts, and enhanced our emergency response capabilities," said Wang Shaofeng, chairman of CSCEC Egypt and head of the epidemic prevention working group.

Egypt recorded on Tuesday 789 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths, taking its nationwide cases to 18,756 and the death toll to 797.

CSCEC Egypt welcomed the arrival of 76 Chinese staff on May 8, which "planted new vitality to the construction and operation of the CBD project," said Managing Director of CSCEC Egypt Chang Weicai.

The Iconic Tower's base of about 18,500 cubic meters of concrete and 5,000 tons of reinforced iron bars was created in late February in a single 38-hour non-stop process, an unprecedented milestone in Egypt's construction history.

A ceremony to mark the creation of the base was attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, who described the project as "a miracle by all means."

Ahmed al-Banna, project manager from Dar Al Handasa, the Egyptian designer and consultant of the project, reiterated that during the pandemic, CSCEC not only ensured the project's continuous production, but also implemented anti-pandemic measures.

He praised CSCEC for its efforts during the current unprecedented period, adding "there is an inspiring story behind the work inside the site, including the supervisors, skillful carpenters and reinforced steel bar workers." Enditem