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Tuesday, 8 June 2021

More Chinese jabs have arrived + Is the UK claiming a Thai variant came through Egypt?

Egypt took receipt yesterday of a 500k-dose shipment of China’s Sinovac vaccines, coming almost a week before our first batch of locally-manufactured Sinovac shots is finished on 15 June, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Minister Hala Zayed had said last week that this shipment will be followed by a separate 500k dose batch on 16 June. Sinovac is one of two vaccines Egypt will manufacture, aiming to produce the first 3 mn doses as early as this month through state-owned Vacsera.

A 1 mn-dose shipment of Sinopharm jabs will arrive in the country on Sunday, 13 June, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told Al Hayah TV last night (watch, runtime: 11:11).

As many as 4 mn shots of other covid vaccines are set to land here at home before the month is out, including a 1.9 mn doses of Oxford / AstraZeneca through the Gavi / Covax scheme that was expected to arrive in the first week of June. Johnson & Johnson is also sending 20 mn doses of its single-shot jab. These doses would be separate from the shots we could be receiving through Covax and from the 4 mn doses that are said to be delivered in 4Q2021, which will likely be received through the African Union.

Next up on Egypt’s vaccination priority list: Tourism workers in Luxor + Aswan. The ministry plans to begin administering covid-19 shots to tourism workers in the tourist hotspots on 1 July, Zayed said in a phone interview with El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 1:28). This comes after the government concluded the vaccination of all Red Sea tourism workers in the last week of May.

The Health Ministry reported 782 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 801 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 268,754 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 47 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,399.

Perhaps this is why the UK put us on its red list: According to the UK government, British health authorities are investigating a variant of the coronavirus that originated in Thailand but entered the country from Egypt. The idea was strongly denied by a member of the Health Ministry’s covid committee on Kelma Akhira last night, who claimed that Egypt has so far not detected any of the more transmissible and virulent covid variants.

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