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Sunday, 17 January 2021

WHO wants private labs to disclose test figures

The Health Ministry reported 887 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 879 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 155,507 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 54 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 8527.

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants labs in Egypt to disclose the number of covid-19 tests they administer and their method of testing. There is a need for more widespread testing to yield accurate daily case numbers, Regional Programme Director Rana Hajjeh said on the airwaves (watch, runtime: 20:56).

Meanwhile: The Armed Forces continue to disinfect public areas, including metro and bus stations and the area around Al Hussein and Al Azhar mosques in the capital city.

Egypt is prepared to manufacture and ship vaccines to Africa and the Middle East, and is willing to share its e-system for tracking vaccine recipients with countries that cannot develop their own, Health Minister Hala Zayed said during a meeting of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. Zayed also said Egypt would seek to join the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), which aims to boost African countries’ ability to produce and distribute vaccines across the continent.

The Madbouly government hopes to begin a national vaccine rollout in early February, starting with the most at-risk groups.

COVID AROUND THE WORLD-

  • The UAE is racing ahead with its vaccination program, having already delivered 1.7 mn doses to its population of 9.9 mn people, according to the Wall Street Journal. The GCC country expects to have vaccinated 50% of its population by March.
  • India has begun the world’s largest vax rollout: The country yesterday began efforts to vaccinate 300 mn people, which will be the world’s largest vaccination program, according to CNBC.
  • The new variant discovered in the UK last year could become the predominant strain in the US by March, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning the mutant virus is likely to spread rapidly across the country in the coming months, reports the Financial Times.

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