Egypt's health ministry has delivered medications to 24,629 non-hospitalised coronavirus patients and provided preventive supplies to 171,378 others who had come in contact with the confirmed cases, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, Egypt has recorded a total of 89,078 coronavirus cases, including 4,399 fatalities and 29,473 recoveries since the outbreak began in February.
Under the country's currently adopted treatment protocol, mild and moderate COVID-19 patients are treated at home or at university hostels to free up beds for critical cases at over 300 state-run isolation hospitals.
Speaking on enhancing Egypt’s scientific research efforts, Zayed said that isolation hospitals countrywide have been prepared to serve as facilities to conduct clinical trials on COVID-19 cases.
An electronic network containing the details of all patients has been developed to allow clinical data analysis and evaluate treatment protocols.
The minister's remarks were made during a meeting with the country's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement.
Zayed pointed out that Egypt is pushing ahead with its reopening measures based on the reassessment of the virus’ situation nationwide, the most recent international scientific papers, and similar reopening measures elsewhere in the world.
In a bid to keep the economy running, Egypt began on 27 June to ease lockdown measures more than three months after they were imposed, lifting a nighttime curfew and allowing more businesses to reopen, including restaurants, coffee shops and cinemas.
Zayed cited studies indicating that infection rates can reach 75 percent in indoor places, as opposed to 12.5 percent in outdoor spaces.
The studies show that close proximity to others, long exposure to infected cases, and inadequate ventilation in closed places are high risk factors, she said.
During the meeting, Zayed also discussed the COVAX Facility, a financing mechanism designed to guarantee rapid and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
COVAX is co-led by the GAVI vaccine alliance, the World Health Organisation and the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. It aims to deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
According to the World Health Organisation, 75 countries have joined the COVAX Facility. These countries are to finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, and up to 90 lower-income countries could be supported through voluntary donations to GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Low-income countries are offered the opportunity to purchase the vaccines through long-term loans from the World Bank, the minister said.
The vaccines will initially be prioritised for healthcare workers in participating countries, then expanded to cover 20 percent of the populations of these countries.