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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Everyone say thank you, China

Our vaccination program got a shot in the arm (pun intended) as Egypt took receipt overnight of 300k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, delivered to us from China as a gift (watch, runtime: 6:21). The shipment couldn’t have arrived at a better time, as the Health Ministry plans to allow Egyptians to register to take a covid-19 vaccine next week. Priority will be given to elderly citizens and those with chronic illnesses. We should be getting a batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine next week, Health Minister Hala Zayed said at a presser on Sunday.

The Sinopharm jabs arrived hours after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi discussed cooperation on fighting covid-19 with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The two also discussed attracting Chinese investments in tech, and Egypt’s key participation in China’s global infrastructure development strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Health Ministry reported 623 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 608 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 178,744 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 51 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,404.

High income countries are hogging the world’s supply of vaccines and not leaving enough for poorer countries, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Ghebreyesus at a press briefing yesterday. Despite USD bns in donations from countries like Germany, France, and the UK to get jabs to developing countries through the WHO’s Covax facility, some countries’ requests for extra doses from vaccine manufacturers could strain supplies and affect Covax’s efficacy.

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