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Monday, 22 March 2021

Don’t hold your breath for vaccine donations from the EU

Egypt is on the cusp of a third wave of covid-19 infections, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi warned yesterday, urging citizens to take the necessary precautions, especially during Ramadan (watch, runtime: 2:39). We were relatively lucky with the first and second waves and managed to weather the storm, El Sisi said, but there is no certainty we’ll have the same outcome if faced with an aggressive third wave.

The Health Ministry reported 647 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 644 the day before. The ministry also reported 41 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,598. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 195,418 confirmed cases of covid-19.

Developing countries shouldn’t expect donations from the European Union for a while until there’s “a better production situation” in the EU, which is already providing financial support to the Covax initiative, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, according to Bloomberg.

The UAE is expanding its vaccination campaign to include people aged 16 and above, state-run WAM news agency reported. The country had prioritized the elderly and those with chronic diseases, but will now start rolling out the jabs to the broader public. The UAE has so far handed out more than 7 mn jabs to its 10 mn-strong population.

Palestine’s covid-19 vaccination campaign kicked off yesterday with the first shipment of some 61.4k doses of AstraZeneca from the World Health Organization’s Gavi / Covax program. The shipment arrived last week and is being used to inoculate the West Bank’s eligible population, Palestinian news agency Wafa reports.

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