Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, announced on Thursday that the Ministry officially signed contracts to receive 20 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Ahram Online reports.
In a press conference, which marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Universal Health Insurance system, Maait noted that public financing for health is regarded as a top priority as the country continues to face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that the Ministry is also preparing plans to increase stimulus packages to support Egypt in combatting the second wave.
On Thursday, Egypt reported 1,021 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total cases registered in the country to 128,993, said the Egyptian Health Ministry.
Earlier in December, Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population announced that the first batch of the Chinese coronavirus vaccine had arrived at Cairo International Airport.
Health Minister Hala Zayed stated that medical staff working in chest and fever hospitals and isolation hospitals and patients with kidney, heart and other chronic diseases would receive priority access to the vaccine.
Despite the rising number of new officially recorded cases, there is little enforcement of lockdown measures as Egyptians continue to ignore health safety instructions, including social distancing, and are no longer wearing masks contrary to government directives.
Two days ago, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced at a cabinet meeting that a ban on New Year’s celebrations and gatherings will be put in place across Egypt.
Madbouly further stressed that this rule would be enforced strictly with no exceptions due to the steadily rising number of COVID-19 cases in Egypt, and in order to avoid a lockdown.