Egypt's stocks close in red on Monday as benchmark EGX 30 dips 0.07%    Egypt's stocks start week higher, benchmark EGX 30 gains 0.48%    Fitch affirms Egypt's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at B+    The unvaccinated prohibited from entry to Egypt state institutions starting December 1    Russia to lift COVID restrictions on flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts on Nov. 9    Egypt, Greece ink deal for first subsea power link between Europe and Africa    Egypt hosts regional conference of EU refugee agency EASO    SCOHRE sparks discussion on harm reduction, tobacco control    Egypt to receive first of six high-trains from Spain's Talgo in mid-November    Egypt's iron and steel exports jump 197% in 8 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Over 100 officials resign from Tunisia's main Islamist party    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egyptian court bans use of mosques for political purposes    Brazil calls up 8 EPL players for World Cup qualifying    Refugees in fear as sentiment turns against them in Turkey    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Sisi calls on House, Senate to commence second legislative sessions on 3, 5 October    Huawei Technologies has invested $10 mln over 5 years in innovation centres in Egypt    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    Qa'a play showing at Lycee El Horreya Theatre, Alexandria is a must go    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    

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Coronavirus: The third wave ebbs
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 06 - 2021

Egypt's coronavirus case numbers are falling. The average number of daily cases dropped from 1,200 in mid-May to 800 in the first week of June, leading to hopes the third wave of the pandemic is receding.
Restrictive measures introduced on 6 May have been eased. Instead of closing at 9pm, shops and malls are now allowed to open till 11pm on weekdays and until midnight during weekends. Coffee shops and restaurants can remain open until 1am throughout the week.
Weddings and funerals in closed halls, however, remain banned.
Egypt, which aims to vaccinate 40 per cent of its 100 million-plus population by the end of this year, increased its stock of vaccines to five million doses on Monday after receiving the first shipment of 500,000 doses of Beijing-based Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine.
The Sinovac vaccine, approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use on 1 June and by the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) in April, is now being manufactured locally by VACSERA, with the first batch — two million doses — due on 15 June. Production is expected to reach 40 doses by the end of the year.
The Sinovac jab is an inactivated vaccine and, according to the WHO, its easy storage requirements make it "very manageable, and particularly suitable" for low-resource settings, preventing symptomatic disease in 51 per cent of those vaccinated and avoiding severe Covid-19 in 100 per cent of the studied population. The WHO recommends the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older.
Health Minister Hala Zayed, who wants Egypt to become an African hub for vaccine production, announced on Monday that a shipment of 3,000 litres of raw materials, enough to produce another 4.2 million doses of Sinovac, are due to be delivered late-June.
According to WHO figures, Egypt has vaccinated more than 2.5 million people since January at 406 centres nationwide, using the WHO-approved Chinese Sinopharm and UK AstraZeneca vaccines.
Zayed announced last week that Egypt is scheduled to receive an additional million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine, and 1.9 million doses of AstraZeneca this month.
Egypt received its first shipment of COVAX vaccines — 854,400 doses of AstraZeneca — in April as part of the 40 million doses it has been promised by the global initiative.
The US Embassy in Cairo announced on 7 June that Egypt is on the US' shortlist of allied states eligible to share six million vaccine shots.
"Egypt is on the list of partner countries for US vaccines. The US will share 80 million doses globally, five times more than any other country. Of the first batch of 25 million doses, 19 million will be sent to the COVAX initiative and six million will be provided for a list of regional priorities and beneficiaries of the allies, including Egypt," the embassy said in a short statement.
Meanwhile, the UK added Egypt, along with six other countries, to its red list, obliging passengers to undergo an 11-day mandatory quarantine, starting on 8 June. Zayed described the listing as a surprise, and said representations had been made to the British Embassy in Egypt, and by the Egyptian Embassy in London, describing Egypt's experience in managing the coronavirus crisis.
Passengers arriving in the UK from red list countries are required to stay in government-approved quarantine hotels for 11 days at a fixed cost of £1,750 per adult. They must also take two Covid-19 tests before departure and have proof of the negative results, and complete a passenger locator form.
The UK's red list currently comprises 50 countries, including Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey, UAE, and Uruguay.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 10 June, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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