File Photo: Egyptians gather in front of the Central Public Health Laboratories in downtown Cairo as they wait to get tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)taken on March 8, 2020. AFP
The ministry also recorded 61 COVID-19-related fatalities, bringing the total tally of deaths to 23,580 according to the ministry’s daily report.
The report added that the total number of recoveries increased to 395,235 after 1,981 patients were discharged from hospitals nationwide in the past 24 hours.
The number of infections and deaths has stabilised in the previous week after increasing considerably during the month of January.
The ministry seeks to vaccinate 70 percent of the population before mid-2022.
On Wednesday, Egypt’s Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar discussed with AstraZeneca, which has exported to Egypt millions of coronavirus vaccine doses, cooperation in the health sector.
Abdel-Ghaffar and Pelin Incesu, the Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa at AstraZeneca, discussed cooperation regarding the transfer of manufacturing technology of various types of vaccines to Egypt.
The country currently has 29 million fully vaccinated citizens.
Furthermore, as many as 863,384 booster shots have been administered so far as part of the country’s ongoing vaccination campaign that started in January 2021, according to the ministry.
Egypt will allow Merck’s COVID-19 drug Molnupiravir – which received emergency use authorisation by the country's drug regulator in January – to be sold at government-affiliated pharmacies, Abdel-Ghaffar announced on Wednesday.
The country will also make COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits available for the public at pharmacies for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, the minister told a cabinet meeting.
Egypt has already provided public hospitals with Pfizer’s Paxlovid pills and AstraZeneca’s Evusheld coronavirus antibody, the minister said, adding that the drugs have been distributed to oncology units as a first stage and are set to be distributed to dialysis units soon.