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Monday, 22 February 2021

Covid is making its way through cabinet

We now have three members of cabinet who have tested positive for covid-19, after confirmations emerged yesterday that each of Trade Minister Nevine Gamea and Justice Minister Omar Marwan have contracted the virus that causes the disease. Gamea and Marwan are each self-isolating at home, where they are resuming their official duties. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait is also said to have tested positive for covid-19.

The 300k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine China is sending us as a gift will land this afternoon or early tomorrow morning, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi. (watch, runtime: 13:53) Egypt has secured 100 mn doses in total from AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Russia’s Sputnik, House Health Committee head Ashraf Hatem told Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 3:42).

The vaccination program will be expanded to the wider population within two months, when lower-risk citizens — including those below the age of 60 and who are not suffering from chronic illnesses — will be able to voluntarily register for a jab, Hatem said.

The government is nearly done with vaccinating medical staff at chest and fever hospitals and has begun vaccinating medical staff at regular hospitals, after having completed the inoculation of all medical staff at covid-19 isolation facilities, Megahed said.

The Health Ministry reported 608 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 600 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 178,151 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 55 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,353.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine seems to have prevented most recipients in Israel from catching covid-19, according to preliminary data. The shot has proved to be 89.4% effective in preventing infections in Israel, which has handed out more vaccines per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Covid survivors may only need one vaccine shot, new research suggests, after recipients of an initial dose of the vaccine who had already had the virus were found to generate dramatically faster and higher immune responses, the Wall Street Journal reports. These findings, which have not yet been peer reviewed, could pave the way for a change in vaccination administration schedules, potentially freeing up much needed doses of vaccines and speeding up inoculation rollouts worldwide.

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