Health Minister Hala Zayed
The risk of the spread of the coronavirus and its impact in Egypt are moderate as per the recently updated map of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
In its four-level guidance, the CDC, which assesses the situation of super-spreader viruses around the world, ranked Egypt in the second level along with 23 other countries.
Based on the number of detected cases, the CDC classifies the countries into four categories in terms of COVID-19 risk rates, advising people to be fully vaccinated before travelling to destinations that fall into "low" and "moderate" risk categories and recommends against travelling to destinations that fall into "very high" and "high" risk categories.
Countries that fall into the "moderate" risk category, in which Egypt is placed, have had 50-99 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, according to the CDC.
Egypt's single-day tolls of infections and deaths have been on a downward curve since early June as the country has passed the peak of the third wave.
However, the country is seeking to widen the rollout of the inoculation process before the anticipated rise in the cases in September, which is correlated to the fourth wave that is hitting many countries currently.
Up to five million citizens have been vaccinated out of 10 million people who have registered on the country's vaccination programme, according to health ministry officials.
Egypt has received millions of shots of Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik, Astrazenca vaccines, and is locally producing Sinovac vaccine by the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA). It is also in talks to manufacture Astrazenca as it seeks to become a regional hub for coronavirus vaccines.
However, some people said their second shots have been postponed for 10 days. The health ministry has not commented on the issue so far.
Zayed said at the meeting that the country is expected to receive in August new shipments of Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik, AstraZeneca and the first shipment of single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The stock of oxygen, which is prescribed for virus-related patients who suffer from shortness of breath, stands at 3.3 million litres, Zayed noted.