The Egyptian military will make good on claims that it has a device to "cure" AIDs and hepatitis C, an army official said Saturday - but it is not ready for release just yet.
In February, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, head of the Cancer Treatment and Screening center, announced that he had "defeated AIDS with the grace of my god at the rate of 100%. And I defeated hepatitis C." Atti claimed that the breakthrough was the product of a "wonder cure" due to be released in June and that it could be "fed to patients in a kebab."
The announcement caused scientific and political uproar, with critics claiming the cure had not been independently verified and one top Egyptian official dismissing the claim as a blow to "the image of scientists and science in Egypt."
It did not stop over 70,000 people from signing a petition to test the device, according to independent news site Youm7.
To add to the skepticism, the "wonder cure" was supposed to have been released on Monday, with little to no mention of the treatment since then.
But on Saturday, Major General Gamal el-Serafy, director of the Armed Forces Medical Department, stated that the delay is merely due to slow progress in testing the device, dubbed the 'Complete Cure Machine.'
"Scientific integrity mandates that I delay the start of the public release until the experimentation period is over, to allow for a follow up with patients already using it," the general stated to reporters, according to state news agency MENA. This "period" is allegedly to extend another six months, according to the Guardian.
Egypt has the world's highest rate of hepatitis C, as over 10% of Egyptians are plagued by the disease according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.