A member of the Egyptian medical staff receives his first dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian health ministry)
Egypt reported 541 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total infections nationwide since the outbreak of the pandemic to 166,492, according to a statement by the Egyptian health ministry.
The health ministry also reported 44 new fatalities, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 9,360.
The statement said that 471 patients have been discharged after recovering from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 130,107.
Egyptian officials said Egypt passed the second wave of the virus, which battered the country in December.
Daily infection tolls registered in Egypt have been on the decline since 9 January, while death tolls are hovering around 40 to 50 for the second month in a row, with Presidential Advisor for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din attributing the matter to the rising infection tally recorded three weeks back.
Egypt began last week administering the first dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine to the frontline healthcare workers at isolation and triage hospitals, who are at the top of the country's vaccination priority list. A total of 207,000 medical staffers are targeted for vaccination at the chest, fever hospitals, including doctors, nurses, administrators, and workers.
Egypt plans to start administering the British Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine starting mid-February to people over 60.
Both vaccines, the Chinese and British, were granted the emergency use approval by the Egyptian Drug Authority, while other vaccines are still under evaluation.
Egypt has obtained a 50,000-dose batch of the Chinese vaccine and the same amount of the British vaccine. The country is waiting for additional batches.