Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said the country is on the threshold of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as he addressed a ceremony marking Mother’s Day on Sunday.
Though Egypt is still witnessing the second wave of the coronavirus that started locally in early December, the state’s health officials have confirmed that the country has passed its peak.
So far, Egypt has detected a total of 194,771 coronavirus cases nationwide and 11,557 deaths since the pandemic started in Egypt in February 2020.
“Thank God, we are working on the vaccination issue, but we need effort and adherence to the precautionary measures [against the coronavirus],” El-Sisi stressed.
The health ministry has recently launched a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 after allowing online registration through the vaccine-designated website in February, with priority given to medical staff members, the elderly, patients with chronic diseases.
The vaccination of eligible groups of citizens — in which the ministry uses the Chinese Sinopharm and British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccines — is currently being carried out through 40 health units nationwide after registering on the website.
Minister of Health Hala Zayed revealed on Saturday that the ministry is aiming to to vaccinate around 250,000 medical workers and eligible citizens against COVID-19 by the end of this week.
The president stated during his speech on Sunday that “the matter has taken a bit too long, but we have no choice; it is a pandemic.”
“We want the matter to end in peace.”
El-Sisi moreover urged citizens to stick to the preventive measures, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, during which people exchange visits and share food.
Zayed has previously warned against an expected surge in the number of coronavirus infections during Ramadan, which starts this year in April, and Eid, which comes right after the month of fasting.
On the other hand, the president issued during his speech on Sunday a number of key directives in favour of Egyptian women during the ceremony, including emphasising the importance of securing the utmost level of safety for women in public transportation and legally setting a clear minimum age for marriage.
El-Sisi urged the Central Bank of Egypt to set policies that give women equal chances to access loans and funding programs as men. He addressed the relevant ministries to review ways to curb the phenomenon women being imprisoned due to debt.