Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered authorities to buy seasonal influenza vaccines by the beginning of next winter to prevent any potential shortage, the cabinet said in a statement Wednesday.
The move comes in line with the government's proactive measures to “avoid any future crises,” the statement said.
Madbouly also ordered authorities to speed up the expansion of manufacturing of protective face masks needed to confront the coronavirus, saying the government will coordinate with factories to allocate special production lines for the masks as soon as possible.
"The specifications of the reusable masks will be determined and approved by the relevant authorities," Madbouly told a cabinet meeting on efforts to fight the coronavirus.
During the meeting, officials emphasised the importance of observing social distancing policies and complying with a ban on social and religious gatherings and sporting events.
They also stressed the need to make protective face masks part of people's lifestyle, where they are worn in the streets, in the workplace, and while shopping or using public transport.
During the meeting, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that average daily calls received by the ministry's hotline designated for the coronavirus came in at 3,560 last week: 3,000 inquiries, 200 reports and 450 complaints and suggestions concerning isolation, fever, pulmonology, and central and health insurance hospitals. These also included calls from recovered coronavirus cases seeking to donate their plasma.
Last week, Egypt’s health ministry announced it started trials on plasma collected from donors who recovered from the coronavirus, to test whether plasma can be an effective treatment for patients who are severely ill with the disease.
Egypt has registered 7,201 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 452 deaths.