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Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Covid vaccines, GERD and the natgas plan all made the airwaves last night

Covid was the top story on last night’s talk shows: Heba Wali, who heads the state-owned vaccine manufacturer Vacsera, was everywhere last night to provide updates on the company’s progress producing covid-19 vaccines. We have more on this in this morning’s news well above.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly's visit to Vacsera’s factory also received blanket coverage: Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime 3:26), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime 4:28), El Hekaya (watch, runtime 6:41) and Al Kahera Wal Nas (watch, runtime 1:32).

Most of the talking heads also had something to say about GERD, as the clock ticks down to the UN Security Council meeting at the end of the week. Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ghanim appeared on Ala Mas’ouleety and El Hekaya to discuss Ethiopia’s notification that it had started filling the dam — more on that in this morning’s Diplomacy section, above — while Foreign Minister Sameh Soukry’s arrival in New York ahead of the Security Council meeting was covered by Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime 1:46 I 1:45) and Ala Mas'ouleety (watch, runtime 4:06).

The latest on the natgas transition plan: Owners of 20+ year-old microbuses will be able to apply online to swap their vehicles with buses equipped with dual-fuel engines starting next week, the initiative’s spokesperson Ahmed Abdel Razek said on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 10:19). The ministry will provide dated microbus owners with support of 25% of the new vehicle’s total value — which should not exceed EGP 65k — to help cover the down payment to make the switch. The remaining cost of the vehicle will be paid over seven to 10 years in installments at reduced rates of as much as 3% under a financing program backed by the Central Bank of Egypt.

The government plans to hand over another 1.6k dual-fuel cars under its vehicle swap program this month, taking the total number to 4k, Abdel Razek said.

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