Egypt’s Health Ministry on Wednesday confirmed 644 new coronavirus cases, up from 633 on Tuesday. The ministry also announced 52 virus-related deaths and 389 recovered cases.
The country has now reported a total of 180,051 cases, 139,072 recovered cases, and 10,495 deaths.
Egypt’s second wave hit its peak on December 30, when the health ministry reported 1,411 new cases. Case numbers experienced a sharp decline in January, but are now stabilizing, with the seven-day average hovering between 600 and 621 since February 15.
The daily death count has remained consistent since the onset of the second wave.
Government officials continue to urge authorities to strictly enforce the country’s mask mandate, which applies to all public transportation and indoor public spaces.
Egypt launched its vaccination campaign on January 24. The Health Ministry is currently working to vaccinate medical staff first, reporting on Sunday that almost all workers at fever and chest hospitals have received their first dose.
The ministry will then move on to at-risk populations, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Those groups will be able to register for the jab starting February 28.
The vaccine will cost no more than LE200 per person, Health Minister Hala Zayed announced on Tuesday, with low-income folks eligible to get their doses for free.
Egypt is currently using China’s Sinopharm vaccine for its campaign and has received doses of the UK’s AstraOxford vaccine. The ministry also plans to employ Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine, once it makes its way to Cairo.
AstraOxford and Sputnik-V received emergency approval from the Egyptian Drug Authority on Wednesday.
So far, 100 million doses of the vaccine have been secured by the ministry, which is enough to vaccinate roughly half of Egypt’s population.
FILE PHOTO: A security man takes temperature of a woman amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Dubai International Airport, UAE April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah