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Sunday, 25 April 2021

More AstraZeneca, Sinopharm jabs are inbound

Another batch of Chinese vaccines will arrive in Egypt on 27 April, Health Minister Hala Zayed said at a presser yesterday (watch, runtime 40:49). A cabinet statement yesterday said that 900k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine will arrive this week. Egypt has so far received 680k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, and the Madbouly government hopes to eventually obtain 40 mn shots from the Chinese company.

Egypt is also set to get its hands on 2 mn jabs from the Gavi / Covax scheme in the first week of May, followed by another 2 mn doses, the minister highlighted. As many as 4.5 mn doses of the AstraZeneca jab are planned to arrive through Covax by the end of May, as part of a 5 mn-dose batch that is promised to be delivered to Egypt.

The Health Ministry reported 912 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 884 on Friday and 872 on Thursday. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 221,570 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 39 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 12,998.

Vaccinated tourists could be allowed to enter Egypt without presenting a PCR or being subject to quarantine, under proposed measures by members of the House Tourism Committee, the local press reports.

Tourism workers in Sharm El Sheikh and South Sinai will finish getting their jabs this Thursday, Zayed noted in the press conference. The ministry began inoculating tourism workers on 6 April.

And some 60% of the registered medical staff have now been vaccinated, she added, noting that only 115 of the overall fatalities among the frontline workers contracted the virus inside isolation hospitals.

The third wave has yet to overwhelm the nation’s hospitals: The government has allocated 50% of the country’s hospitals to take covid-19 patients, Zayed said, adding that some 47% of the ICU beds are empty. She said Egypt is witnessing “regular” increases that don't exceed 10% in daily cases.

And the situation in Sohag is not out of control, the minister said on El Hekaya yesterday, noting that another 50 ICU beds will be set up there. She denied the situation in Sohag is “worrying.” Fever and chest hospitals in Sohag were 80-90% full last week amid a spike in cases in the governorate. Reuters also made note of the story.

COVID AROUND THE WORLD-

India is facing an unimaginable covid-19 surge: India reported 346,786 new infections yesterday in what was the third day running that the country had set a world record for new infections, CNN reports. The skyrocketing numbers are threatening to overwhelm the country’s healthcare system, which is running low on ICU beds, medicine, oxygen and ventilators.

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