Cairo University President Mohamed Othman El-Khesht said on Thursday the university will pay for inoculating its staff against the coronavirus.
The university addressed the Ministry of Health to provide the vaccines for its staff, including medical and nursing staff, professors and the elderly people with chronic diseases, said El-Khesht in a statement.
The move is a "national responsibility" and a message of support to the government which "has successfully managed the coronavirus crisis," read the statement.
The decision is meant to alleviate the financial pressure on the government amid the coronavirus crisis, El-Khesht said, adding that he informed the Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) Fund, which will finance Egypt’s vaccination project, that the university will bear the cost of inoculating its staff.
El-Khesht called on civil society organisations to support Tahya Misr Fund and the government by contributing in paying for the vaccine.
According to Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din, the presidential adviser for health affairs, medical cadres are a priority group in the Covid-19 inoculation programme, followed by medical teams, including those working in isolation, fever, and chest hospitals.
Tag El-Din said in a phone call on satellite TV channel MBC Misr on Thursday that there is already a shortage in the quantities of vaccines covering a large number of sectors worldwide. He attributed the shortage to the long time needed to produce and store the vaccine.
However, Tag El-Din stressed that there are no financial problems regarding the acquisition of coronavirus vaccines, adding that every citizen will be inoculated free of charge.
Speaking about the plan to overcome the coronavirus crisis, El-Khesht said that some universities turned their hospitals into makeshift isolation hospitals, including Cairo University’s hospitals, French Qasr El-Ainy and Qasr El-Ainy Internal Medicine Hospital.
The plan includes offering free treatment to medical, teaching and administrative staff diagnosed with the coronavirus in addition to slashing 50 percent of the cost of treatment for their first-degree relatives.
Egypt has allocated EGP 100 billion to confront the repercussions of the coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic. EGP 70 billion of the sum have been allocated to the health ministry and EGP30 billion to rehabilitate and raise the efficiency of university hospitals, according to Tag El-Din’s statement in early December.