Egypt’s coronavirus cases drop by 50% in a month: health minister

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Fri, 22 Jan 2021 - 04:20 GMT

FILE - Minister of Health Hala Zayed - Courtesy of the Health Ministry

FILE - Minister of Health Hala Zayed - Courtesy of the Health Ministry

CAIRO – 22 January 2021: The number of coronavirus cases has dropped by 50 percent within a month, including those self-quarantining in homes, Health Minister Hala Zayed said.

In remarks to Al-Qahera Wal Nas, Zayed said thanks to Egypt’s adoption of balanced policies, including reducing the attendance of employees and abandonment of a full closure strategy, the curve of infection has not increased.

Egypt has reported its lowest daily number of coronavirus cases in a month, as the Ministry of Health announced that 752 new coronavirus cases were detected on Thursday.

This ups the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 159,715, said the ministry.

In a statement, Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said 54 coronavirus-linked deaths were registered over the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 8,801 since the outset of the pandemic.

As many as 566 cases were discharged from isolation hospitals after receiving the necessary medical care, taking the number of recovered cases so far to 125,171, the spokesman added.

Vaccination

Vaccination campaigns will kick off in Egypt during this month, presidential advisor for health affairs Awad Tag El-Din said on Thursday, while the country continues to record a decreasing number of daily coronavirus cases.

In a telephone interview with DMC, the presidential advisor said Egypt has negotiated with a number of companies developing vaccines, adding that vaccines of Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca will soon be approved in Egypt.

Coronavirus vaccine doses will be provided to the medical staff at quarantine hospitals starting Sunday, January 24, official sources at the Health Ministry told Egypt Today.

Vaccination will be optional and free of charge, the sources said, given that quarantine hospitals’ medical staff are among the priority groups.

Egypt received its first batch of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in December, consisting of 50,000 doses. Tag El-Din said earlier that Egypt contracted with Gavi to obtain 20 million vaccine doses.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said in December the priority in distributing the vaccine will be given to the medical staff in isolation hospitals, as well as chest and fevers hospitals, she said.

Also, cancer or kidney failure patients, older people and persons suffering from chronic diseases will be prioritized.

Sinopharm’s vaccine, according to UAE and Egypt, has an 86 percent efficacy against coronavirus. It has been involved in clinical trials in Egypt over the past few months. Minister Zayed was one of the volunteers.

The vaccine is injected in the upper arm. It consists of two shots, 21 days apart.

The Chinese vaccine has shown 99 percent efficacy in producing antibodies to the novel virus and 100 percent efficacy in preventing cases from showing moderate or severe symptoms, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

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