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Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Covid cases top 1k for first time since mid-January

We’re back in four-figure daily covid cases for the first time since mid-January: The Health Ministry reported 1,003 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 991 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 224,517 confirmed cases of covid-19. The most recent peak occurred on 31 December when the ministry reported 1,418 in a single day.

Sixty-one new deaths were also reported yesterday, the highest daily figure since 3 January. The country’s total death toll is now 13,168.

Is Egypt going to receive J&J vaccines? Possibly, according to presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag Eldin, who told Masaa DMC last night that Egypt may receive doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the African Union (watch, runtime: 4:43 I 5:23). Tag Eldin didn’t mention how many doses we could receive nor through which mechanism they would be delivered.

Almost 3 mn doses of other vaccines are coming this week and the next: Some 900k doses of the Sinopharm vaccine will arrive this week and Egypt is also set to get its hands on 2 mn AstraZeneca jabs from the Gavi / Covax scheme in the first week of May.

Egypt’s Evangelical Church will be holding Easter services this year without worshippers as the country’s covid-19 tally continues to surge, according to a statement. The annual mass — to be held this Saturday at 1:30 pm at the Heliopolis Evangelical Church — will be limited to Church officials and will instead be broadcast on Egyptian TV.

Sheikh Hafez Salama, a leader of Popular Resistance during the 1973 October War in Suez, passed away last Monday at the age of 96 due to covid-19, local media reported.

IN GLOBAL COVID NEWS-

The Eastern Mediterranen region has witnessed a 22% increase in covid-19 infections this week and a 17% uptick in deaths over the same period, said WHO Eastern Mediterranean director Ahmed Al-Mandhari during a World Immunization Week press conference (watch, runtime 1:50:30). The eighth week of rising infections in the region comes after four weeks of reported decreases in case counts. We can thank relaxed safety protocols and increased travel in the region, Al-Mandhari added.

Brazil has blocked imports of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine over what it described as “serious” defects and “inherent risks,” Reuters reports. This comes days after Egypt’s local pharma company Minapharm signed an agreement with the Russian sovereign wealth fund to begin in 3Q2021 manufacturing some 40 mn doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine annually, which will be earmarked for “global distribution.” The vaccine received emergency use approval in Egypt earlier this year.

The Russians quickly rejected the finding: The developers said their conclusions don’t have scientific backing, while the Russian sovereign wealth fund suggested the decision was politically motivated. The vaccine’s main developer, Denis Logunov, said the shots were “clean” and do not contain adenoviruses capable of reproducing inside the human body.

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