File photo of a man receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Al-Nozha Hospital in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)
Egypt reported 458 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the country’s highest single-day rise since 23 June.
This brings the total infection tally to 292,476 since the outbreak began in February 2020, the health ministry said in its daily coronavirus update statement.
A continual but slight increase in the daily coronavirus infections has been seen over the past weeks as the country has entered a fourth wave of the pandemic, with health officials stressing the fourth wave would reach its peak in late September and early October.
While the officially announced daily infections may appear low compared to the spikes being seen elsewhere in the world, many observers say such announced numbers can be multiplied by 10 to reflect the real ones as they merely indicate the positive cases registered at the Ministry of Health’s hospitals.
Thirteen new deaths have been reported over the past 24 hours as well, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus to 16,860, as per the country's health ministry count for Thursday.
As many as 750 patients have been discharged after recovering from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 246,075.
Egypt – in which WHO says 10.4 million doses have been administered – has been recently intensifying its vaccination to achieve its announced target of 40 million inoculated citizens by the end of 2021.
The total number of vaccination centres nationwide has reached 777, including 60 at universities and 180 dedicated for travellers, according to the health ministry
This is in addition to the existence of 1,300 mobile vaccination teams nationwide.
The state is currently considering giving booster shots of coronavirus vaccines to citizens who were inoculated at least 6-8 months ago, according to Health Minister Hala Zayed.
The third shot would be given before the end of the year, but the country is now prioritising those who haven’t received the first dose, Zayed said last week.