President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has received his first dose of the vaccine today as a part of the national COVID-19 vaccine campaign, according to the official website of the Egyptian Presidency. This comes as Egypt’s Ministry of Health continues to warn of a new wave of the pandemic urging Egyptians to register for a vaccine and to maintain health and safety precautions.
At least 525,000 Egyptian citizens have been vaccinated as of the 24th of April. According to a statement from Minister of Health Hala Zayed, all Red Sea and South Sinai tourism workers have received the vaccine.
This follows news that the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac signed an agreement to manufacture 40 million doses of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine annually, which was announced in the Minister’s statement on the 23rd of April.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Health Minister Hala Zayed and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang.
During a press conference on Friday, Minister Hala Zayed noted that Egypt will produce the first five million doses of Sinovac vaccine locally within the next two months.
The Minister added that Egypt also signed an agreement with Russia to produce over 40 million doses per year of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V locally to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
She explained that while 85 percent of COVID-19 vaccines in the world have been distributed to only twelve countries globally, Egypt has signed agreements to receive 100 million COVID-19 doses overall, which includes 40 million doses of AstraZeneca and 20 million doses of the Russian R-Pharm vaccine.
She stated earlier that Egypt will receive 500,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in late April, and 4.5 million of the remaining doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in May.
In the statement, the Minister reaffirmed that citizens should abide by health precautions due to a reported global increase in COVID-19 cases by ten percent, and a seven percent increase in deaths. She reported that Egypt is experiencing an uptick in infections in conjunction with this global rise, and warned those partaking in Ramadan celebrations to be mindful. She further called upon business owners to not be complacent in enforcing COVID-19 regulations.
Egypt reported 912 COVID-19 cases and 39 new deaths on Saturday, raising the total number of infected to 221,570 cases overall and 12,998 deaths. Citizens are advised to use the hotline (1440) for COVID-19 cases and (105) for the Ministry’s services and to receive inquiries.