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Thursday, 18 March 2021

A third wave is neither inevitable — nor is it unlikely

The third wave of covid-19 infections hasn’t yet hit Egypt — and it’s neither inevitable nor unlikely, presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag Eldin told Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 2:10). The Health Ministry is also keeping a close eye on the outcome of countries’ reports on their review of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after the jab was temporarily suspended in a handful of places over blood clotting incidents, Tag Eldin said (watch, runtime: 3:13).

Egypt is set to receive the first 5 mn does batch of an 8.6 mn dose order of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of the month, Noha Assem, advisor to the health minister reminder Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy (watch, runtime: 7:03). Officials have in recent days put the size of the AstraZeneca order variously at 5 mn and 6 mn doses — enough for 2.5-3 mn people. The news comes as the ministry’s vaccination portal now allows registration of everyone in Egypt over the age of 18, including citizens, foreign residents and refugees.

The Health Ministry reported 645 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 640 the day before. The ministry also reported 47 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,431. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 192,840 confirmed cases of covid-19.

It’s official: The EU is looking to introduce its “digital green certificate” — a covid passport of sorts that would act as documented proof of “vaccination, a negative test result, or a documented recovery from the virus,” the New York Times reports. While the certificate is not meant to be a “precondition” for European residents to travel across the bloc, each government will be allowed to set its own set of guidelines for what restrictions would be waived for certificate holders.

Not an EU resident? Don’t make summer vacation plans too quickly: The proposed certificate would not change the rules for travelers from outside the EU. The bloc could, however, grant certificates to travelers coming from the few countries exempted from its ban on nonessential travel.

Taking notes from its ex, the UK is considering introducing its own vaccine certificates that would allow people to travel and access non-essential services, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said yesterday, according to Reuters.

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