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Thursday, 15 July 2021

1 mn Sinovac vaccines coming this week

Egypt will receive 1 mn doses of the Sinovac vaccine before the end of next week, Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a cabinet meeting yesterday. The Chinese company last week delivered a 500k-dose shipment of the vaccine, while Egypt has locally produced its first 1 mn doses of home-made Sinovac, with aims to manufacture as many as 80 mn by the end of the year.

Plasma donation campaign rolled out nationwide: The ministry launched yesterday a national plasma donation campaign as part of efforts to manufacture and become self-sufficient in plasma derivatives, which have proven useful in the treatment of covid patients.

We appear to have lost two plasma collection centers: Zayed said in February that the ministry has set up eight collection centers around the country, but in her statement yesterday said that we actually have six, located in Giza, Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta and Minya. The ministry plans to complete equipping 20 centers this year, Zayed said.

Who can participate? All citizens aged above 18 years are encouraged to donate every two weeks.

Background: A bill regulating blood donation and the manufacturing and collection of plasma was greenlit in April by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi after gaining a final approval from the House a month earlier..

The Health Ministry reported 89 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 108 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 283,409 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported six new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,418.

IN REGIONAL COVID NEWS-

WHO warns of “catastrophic” covid-19 surge in Middle East: The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a significant upsurge of covid-19 infections in the Middle East, describing the situation as "critical" in a statement yesterday. “This is being aggravated by new variants circulating – most concerningly the delta variant – low vaccine availability and uptake, and lack of adherence to public health and social measures,” said Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. The WHO expressed particular concern about Eid Al Adha, which it said could fuel a steeper rise in cases with “catastrophic consequences.”

Which countries should worry? Libya, Iran, Iraq and Tunisia are reporting a resurgence in new infections, while Lebanon and Morocco started to follow suit and are expected to see a surge in the coming weeks.

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