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Thursday, 15 April 2021

More vaccination centers + covid cases rise again

We now have 193 vaccination centers operating nationwide, Health Minister Hala Zayed told Cabinet in its weekly meeting yesterday. The government is also preparing to establish a center in the national exhibitions center, which should be able to vaccinate up to 10k people a day, the minister said.

That’s still below the ministry’s most recent target: Zayed had said we would have 350 operational vaccination centers by the end of this week, after previously saying 339 facilities would be up and running on 5 April.

The Health Ministry reported 831 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 823 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 212,961 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 12,570.

More than 30 mn shots have been administered in 21 EastMed countries as the covid-19 virus continues to spread, with 364k infections and 4.4k deaths across the region last week alone, said WHO East Med regional director Ahmed Al Mandhari at a virtual presser yesterday. “Although progress has been made with starting vaccination around the world, there remains a shocking imbalance in the distribution of vaccines. This is especially true in our region,” said Al Mandhari. Last week's infection numbers mark a 22% week-on-week rise in the number of new covid-19 cases across the region, with deaths also rising 17%.

And the WHO wants Muslims observing Ramadan to stay vigilant: “We are especially worried that the current situation may worsen during Ramadan if people don’t follow and adhere to the proven social measures that work,” said Al Mandhari, adding that taking care of our and others’ health is in line with the basic tenents of Islam.

ALSO FROM THE CONFERENCE- The WHO will have its final say on the authorization of China’s Sinopharm vaccine before the end of April, with a delegation set to fly to China soon to assess its manufacturing eligibility, WHO's director of program management Rana Hajjeh said.

Calls for the US to waive IP rights on covid vaccines are increasing: Some 175 former global leaders and Nobel prizewinners are calling on the Biden administration to push companies to waive the intellectual property rights for vaccines in order to speed up the rollout in developing countries, the Financial Times reports.

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