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Monday, 24 May 2021

Infection numbers expected to peter out next week

Are we past the covid third wave danger zone? Covid-19 cases are likely to start declining as of next week, Ittihadiya health advisor Mohamed Tag Eldin said in a phone interview with Extra News (watch, runtime 13:40). The advisor also expected a higher recovery rate, which reportedly stands at 73.6% in isolation hospitals. The Health Ministry already announced yesterday a decline in new covid-19 infections to 1,145 from 1,151 the day before, while new deaths also went down to 51 from 59 a day earlier.

Measures to curb overcrowding at vaccination centers: Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is triaging those in short waiting lists for jabs to other medical centers in a bid to speed up the vaccination process and reduce the waiting lists, an unnamed ministry source tells Masrawy. The ministry has also rolled out a new service that allows those registered for the vaccine to know which vaccination center is less crowded, another source at the ministry said.

We have some 4 mn people who have registered to take the vaccine thus far, up from the 3.5 mn recorded last week, the source added. The ministry has been developing its automated registration system to fasten the process of giving vaccination appointments.

IN GLOBAL COVID NEWS- The European Commission is taking Astrazeneca to court on Wednesday over late covid-19 vaccine deliveries, with hopes that the legal battle will force the pharma company to make an immediate delivery of an additional 90 mn jabs, according to The Associated Press. Astrazeneca’s contract with the commission should have seen an initial 300 mn doses sent for distribution among all 27 countries in 2021, with an option for a further 100 mn. However, only 30 mn shots were sent during the first quarter and while Astrazeneca has since upped deliveries, the target is far from being reached. The Anglo-Swedish pharma company has argued that vaccines are difficult to manufacture and it made its best effort to deliver on time.

Testing for covid is just a stinky breath away: Singapore has approved a breath test that detects covid-19 and gives accurate results within one minute, reports Bloomberg. The test was created by National University of Singapore spinoff startup Breathonix and will be used to screen incoming travelers from Malaysia. If the breath test comes out positive, the patient will be referred to do a PCR swab test. The potential adoption of the new technology proves successful could help unlock the travel sector and allow for quicker detection and quarantine of infected individuals, the news agency notes.

China, meanwhile, is not happy that we’re talking about the lab origin hypothesis, again: China has denied a US intelligence report claiming researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology becoming sick in November 2019, Bloomberg reports. The US report’s findings fuel an earlier theory that covid-19 may have originated in a lab in Wuhan. “The report that you mentioned about three people getting sick, that is not true,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a briefing in response to a Wall Street Journal report, accusing the US of "hyping the lab-leak theory."

???? Now we’re just being petty: China believes that the virus could have originated in a US lab at a military base in Maryland, with Zhao highlighting a "suspicion about the activities at Fort Detrick and the more than 200 biolabs run by the U.S."

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