In a press conference Monday 23 August 2021 in Cairo, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that Egypt has been seeing a slight regular increase in the daily figures of COVID-19 cases, jointly with a slight decrease in the number of deaths.
Dr Zayed said the Delta variant is being treated through a monoclonal antibody treatment protocol which has led to recovery rates of 95 per cent worldwide in severe and medium cases. She said that Egypt has a supply of 15,000 doses of the drug at a cost of USD50 million.
Dr Zayed gave a report on COVID-19 vaccination in Egypt, calling on Egyptians to take the vaccine which, she said, decreases by 90 per cent the need for hospitalisation in case of infection, according to international reports.
The Health Minister said that the first 15 million doses of the locally produced Sinovac-Vacsera vaccine will be available in vaccination centres starting tomorrow Tuesday 24 August. This is a vaccine produced in Egypt by the State-owned VACSERA facility, in collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer of Sinovac; the annual production of the vaccine is expected to reach a billion doses. Dr Zayed said that all other vaccines available in Egypt are WHO-approved. She stressed that vaccines are administered free of charge, and said that some 10 million persons have applied for vaccination on the Health Ministry’s website; 7.5 million have already been vaccinated, she said, and others will take their turns very soon.
The number of vaccination centres, the Health Minister said, has been increased to 657 nationwide, including 145 for Egyptians planning to travel abroad. Apart from that, vaccines are available through convoys that move to public places, government offices, banks, factories, construction sites, and sites that include or are frequented by large numbers of people [such as sporting or social clubs, churches or mosques].
Last May and June, Dr Zayed said, those who work in the tourism sector nationwide were vaccinated, in order to ensure safe tourism.
During the upcoming month, Dr Zayed said, all staff and workers in the education field and those in auxiliary jobs in schools and universities will be vaccinated. This, she said, comes in accordance with an agreement with the ministers of education and higher education, to ensure a safe new school year; no unvaccinated person will be allowed on school premises. The vaccination process starts early September; public schools open for the new scholastic year on 10 October, by which time all those working in or with schools should have been fully vaccinated.
The Health Minister said that 800 vaccination centres, in addition to six mega centres are being set up nationwide to vaccinate some 5.5 million in the education field before the new school year begins.
During the upcoming period, the Minister stressed, an official plan will be announced to vaccinate all public school and university students against COVID-19. This, she explained will be achieved through vaccination points that will be set up at universities, institutes, research centres, and teaching and student hospitals. She called upon private and national universities to join.
Persons planning to travel outside Egypt for business or study, including those under 18, the Health Minister said, will be given priority in vaccination, and will be handed certificates with QR codes proving that. She said that 150 such certificates have been issued. These certificates, she said, cost EGP250 when issued for use outside Egypt, EGP100 for use inside Egypt, and EGP25 for students.
According to Dr Zayed, an online application “Egypt Health Passport” will be launched in a few days to pay for and obtain the certificates online.
Finally, the Health Minister stressed that all the needs of the health sector to deal with COVID-19 pandemic have been secured, including a 2 – 3.3 million litre strategic stock of oxygen, as well as sufficient ventilators and IC units.
She said Egypt was collaborating with global clinical research on COVID-19 vaccines and drugs.
23 August 2021