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Monday, 12 April 2021

In Photos: Egypt vaccinates Suez Canal Authority captains, workers

Egypt has also started vaccinating workers in the tourism sector against the coronavirus

Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Apr 2021
Suez Canal
Members of Suez Canal captains receive a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ismailia, Egypt April 6, 2021. REUTERS
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Egypt began vaccinating captains and workers at its Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on Tuesday and also unrolled the jab for workers in the tourism sector, Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Tuesday.

Zayed witnessed the beginning of the immunisation campaign against the virus for the SCA’s pilots, medical staff, and other workers at the authority’s hospital in Ismailiya.

She stressed during a meeting with SCA Chairman Osama Rabie the importance of the canal as a “major artery for global trade.”

Meanwhile, Rabie praised during the meeting the ministry's decision to place the canal’s workers, especially those dealing with crossing vessels, among priority groups to receive the vaccine.

The roll-out of the vaccine jab for the canal workers comes a few days after Egypt succeeded in refloating the mega container ship Ever Given that blocked the canal for six days in late March, thus allowing navigation in the strategic waterway to resume.

Suez Canal
A member of Suez Canal captains receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ismailia, Egypt April 6, 2021. REUTERS

Suez Canal
A member of Suez Canal captains receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ismailia, Egypt April 6, 2021. REUTERS

Suez Canal
A member of Suez Canal captains receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ismailia, Egypt April 6, 2021. REUTERS

Egypt has also started vaccinating workers against the coronavirus in the tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, in popular tourist hotspots in the Red Sea and South Sinai, Zayed said.

Zayed added that vaccine roll-out also began for employees and workers in the national carrier EgyptAir, thus ensuring Egypt’s compliance with global health regulations as traffic resumes between countries.

She stressed the state’s keenness on achieving a balance between economic activities and avoiding a full lockdown under its plan to coexist with the virus since the beginning of the outbreak last year.

Egypt hopes that its national inoculation program, which began in March, would help in the recovery of its tourism sector, which has been heavily impacted due to a global suspension and disruption of air traffic since the start of the pandemic last year.

The country currently administers the Chinese Sinopharm and the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in its national inoculation campaign, both of which were granted emergency use authorisation by authorities earlier this year.

The tourism sector is a key source of foreign currency for the country.

Egypt received approximately 500,000 tourists during January-March, Deputy Tourism Minister Ghada Shalabi said last week, with tourism revenues amounting to $600-$800 million during the first quarter of 2021.

A total of 3.4 million tourists visited Egypt in 2020 compared to 13 million tourists in 2019.

Before the outbreak, the country was expecting to receive 15 million tourists in 2020. 

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