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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Daily cases back in three figures for the first time since April

Daily cases of covid-19 in Egypt have fallen back to three-figures for the first time in over a month, according to official figures released early this morning. The Health Ministry reported 984 new cases of the virus, down from 1,007 on Sunday.

This is the first time since 26 April that we haven’t had more than 1k cases every day. Daily figures remained above 1k throughout May, rising to a peak of 1,203 on 15 May. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 262,650 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 49 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,096.

We’ve passed the peak of the third wave, covid-19 task force member Mohamed Nady told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 2:42). He called on citizens to register as quickly as possible to get vaccinated and help contain the epidemic and prevent another resurgence in cases.

How do I get vaccinated? Register online here in English or in Arabic (it’s very easy). If tech isn’t your thing or you need to change your registration, call the ministry’s covid-19 hotline on 15335.

Sinovac is looking more attractive: The Brazilian town of Serrana saw deaths due to covid plummet 95% after its entire adult population received the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reports. Organized by Brazilian researchers as part of the “Project S” experiment, the February-to-April campaign was the first such clinical mass vaccination trial in one of the world’s worst affected countries, and saw the number of symptomatic cases fell 80%, and hospitalizations related to the disease plunged 86%.

Why this matters: Egypt plans to manufacture the Sinovac jab at Vacsera, with the first 3 mn locally produced doses expected to be available as early as this month.

Egypt ups preparations to treat “black fungus” viral infection: The Health Ministry has been providing treating people suffering from mucormycosis, also known as the “black fungus” infection, since last week, Al Shorouk reports, citing head of the government’s covid-19 committee Hossam Hosni. Egypt has identified a handful of cases, including a possible case in Menoufia, among covid patients with weakened immune systems, along with another two infections earlier this month, Hosni said. The disease is fatal in around 50% of cases but is not contagious, committee member Jihan El Assal said.

Health Ministers of World Health Organization member states will meet in November to discuss launching an international treaty to boost pandemic preparedness, Reuters reports. The proposed treaty comes as part of reform recommendations put forward by independent experts, that include granting the UN body power to deploy investigators swiftly in the event of new disease outbreaks, and the establishment of a Global Health Threats Council that will maintain governmental commitment to prepare for pandemics

WTO to waive or not to waive vaccine IP? The World Trade Organization (WTO) could seriously reconsider an intellectual property waiver for covid-19 vaccines, after the US expressed support for the waiver earlier this month, Bloomberg reports. The WTO will meet in November to discuss the waiver as part of its ministerial meeting, though the European Union, Canada and Switzerland still oppose the plan. A draft submitted by India, South Africa and dozens of other proponents had called on the WTO to suspend vaccine IP rights in order to boost worldwide production and ensure equitable access for poorer nations.

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