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Sunday, 20 June 2021

Covid cases continue to fall, suggesting end of third wave

Covid cases continued to decline over the weekend: The Health Ministry reported 566 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 589 on Friday and 591 on Thursday. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 276,756 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 38 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,829.

Daily cases have now fallen 53% from their most recent peak during the Eid El Fitr holiday in mid-May.

China’s Sinopharm jab is now being tested on children in the UAE: The UAE is running a trial of the vaccine on 900 children aged 3-17 in which some members of the Abu Dhabi ruling family are participating, Reuters writes. The move comes “in preparation to vaccinate children in the near future,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office said. The country is already manufacturing the Sinopharm vaccine under a JV with Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42. The vaccine is presently in wide use in Egypt alongside the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab; Egypt will be making a vaccine from China’s Sinovac, with first doses expected to roll off the line at Vacsera any day now.

CureVac may not be hitting the shelves soon after “sobering” efficacy rates: The German mRNA covid vaccine fell short on efficacy, coming in with a 47% rate in its clinical trials, the Associated Press reports. Final results — due within weeks — will determine whether the company, in partnership with Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, will seek regulatory approval. The outcome may have been affected by more than two dozen variants found across 10 countries during the trial phase, the company said. The company’s previously announced plans to produce an “all in one” shot to address multiple variants in one go may take a hit as a consequence. CureVac’s shares plunged 50% on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.

The EU has lifted its travel ban on US citizens, adding the country to a so-called “white list” from which non-essential travel is allowed without requiring a quarantine, Bloomberg reports. The move, which should take effect within days, is expected to boost transatlantic airlines, with the EU pushing the Biden administration to reciprocate by lifting bans on European travellers to the US.

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