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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Covid cases could be 10x higher than reported, says Zayed

Covid cases on the ground are probably 10 times as many as the reported figures: The official figures of any epidemic only reflect about 10% of the actual number of infections, Health Minister Hala Zayed said during an interview with Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 2:14). These figures include cases that go undiagnosed, she added.

We could be in line for booster shots here in Egypt by the end of the year: In the interview with El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 6:19), Zayed said that the ministry is hoping to start offering third booster shots by the end of the year, but added that the rollout would depend on people taking up the government’s offer of vaccines and could not begin until all those on waitlists had at least received a first shot.

The fourth wave could peak sometime at the end of September or in the first half of October, Zayed said (watch, runtime: 6:39), adding that case numbers are expected to escalate “in a very big way” at the end of this month. The government had been preparing for the fourth wave of the virus by increasing its oxygen stores and updating the medication protocol for those who are infected, she said, adding that there is currently no shortage of available beds in intensive care units.

The Health Ministry reported 368 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 343 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 290,395 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 12 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,801.

IN GLOBAL COVID NEWS-

Chile will vaccinate kids as young as six using the Sinovac jab, after a panel of medical experts voted to approve the use of the jab for young children, Bloomberg reports. The decision comes after a June study showed that the Chinese vaccine could be administered safely to children aged three and above.

Sinovac is becoming the dominant vaccine in Egypt as state-owned Vacsera ramps up production of home-made jabs. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi this week said that Egypt could start providing vaccines to children under the age of 18 at schools once the necessary approvals are in place.

Sinopharm wants to produce its own mRNA vaccine, making it the first big Chinese company to consider doing so, the FT says. The company is currently conducting clinical trials on a vaccine that uses the mRNA technology, which some studies have shown to be more effective than traditional inoculation methods. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are the only mRNA jabs currently approved for use.

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