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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Covid cases continue to decline in Egypt as delta spreads across the world

The Health Ministry reported 38 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 41 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 283,985 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported four new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,481.

Oxygen can no longer be exported without the permission of the ministers of health and trade, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette (pdf). The decision, which likely looks to safeguard local supplies in preparation for a rise in demand in the event of another covid-19 wave, is valid for one year.

People travelling from Egypt to the UK may soon have to pay even more to quarantine: Travellers entering the UK from “red list” countries already have to pay GBP 1,750 to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, but this could rise to GBP 2,250 according to government proposals designed to deter people from travelling to covid hotspots. The British government put Egypt on its “red list” in June due to the risks of people contracting new covid variants in the country.

Travellers from Egypt to Ireland will no longer have to undergo a 12-day quarantine at a government mandated hotel, after the Irish government removed Egypt from its red list of countries, meaning it no longer considers Egypt a high-risk destination for covid-19, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

IN GLOBAL COVID NEWS-

Global covid news is increasingly being dominated by fears over the spread of the delta variant, which is now causing a resurgence of the virus not only in undervaccinated countries in the developing world, but highly-vaccinated countries, too.

  • Infections and hospitalizations are on the rise in the US due to delta, and with the rate of vaccination slowing local officials are starting to reintroduce mask rules (CNBC).
  • Delta is now the dominant strain in Europe, the WHO has said, and with cases surging, some governments are starting to get tougher on the unvaccinated, introducing measures such as vaccine passports to nudge people to take the shot. (WSJ)
  • And developing countries with low vaccination rates are also being hit hard, with the vast majority of new infections in Indonesia, South Africa and Malaysia being caused by delta. (FT)

African countries are set to receive the first batch of single-dose J&J starting next week: The African Union will start delivering next week the first 6 mn-jab shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with 45 African countries to get their first shipment by the end of August, the Associated Press reports. J&J is expected to supply the AU with 400 mn shots by September 2022, with deliveries to average 10 mn a month from September, before rising to 20 mn in January until the order is fully shipped.

Africa’s vaccination targets are impossible to reach thanks to vaccine nationalism and export controls on producing countries such as India, an AU envoy told the newswire. Africa aims to vaccinate 60% of its population of 1.3 bn by the end of this year, but has only administered 60 mn doses.

Pfizer and BioNTech will manufacture their Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa starting next year, with an annual vaccine production exceeding 100 mn doses, the companies said in a joint statement. This comes under a letter of intent signed with the Biovac Institute in Cape Town, under which the pharma companies will transfer technology, install equipment and develop the facility. The shots will be delivered to African countries. Reuters and CNN took note of the story.

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