File Photo: Members of a medical staff, wearing protective gear, intubating a patient in the isolated ward for the coronavirus (COVID-19) patient in the intensive care unit (ICU). AFP
During the meeting, which was held at the new cabinet headquarters in New Alamein city, Abdel-Ghaffar reviewed a report on the COVID situation on the local and global levels, a cabinet statement read.
The minister said the country is witnessing a decrease in occupancy rates at isolation and triage hospitals affiliated with the health ministry.
Egypt seeks to fully vaccinate 50 million of its 102-plus population as per the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommendations, the minister told the meeting.
He added that 100 percent of the target population has already received their first shot of the vaccine, while 78.4 percent have received the second dose.
As for the third booster shot, up to 8 million people have been inoculated so far, nearly 32.3 percent of the country's target priority groups, which the health ministry estimates at 25 million people, Abdel-Ghaffar said.
Except for an increase of 6.9 percent in coronavirus infections recorded in late June/early July, Egypt has been witnessing a major decline in infections and deaths nationwide for several months.
In its daily update on the COVID situation in the region released on Monday, the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region Office (EMRO) said that Egypt recorded a daily average of 66 coronavirus infections and five deaths.
EMRO has not reported new infections and deaths in its daily update since then, leaving the country's total tally of coronavirus infections and deaths since the initial outbreak in February 2020 at 515,264 and 24,791 respectively.
In recent months, the country has eased the coronavirus-related restrictions it had imposed since March 2020. This includes allowing mosques and shrines nationwide to return to normal operation hours after two years of limited services.
It also included allowing weddings and celebrations at indoor halls in hotels as long as they follow precautionary measures.
In 16 June, Egypt announced that it is lifting COVID-related entry restrictions for all travellers, whether Egyptian nationals or foreigners, according to a statement by the Cabinet.
On Tuesday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced a contribution of $9 million (EGP 173.4 million) to support Egypt's COVID-19 response.
The new programme is intended to "address the most pressing needs of the Egyptian government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic", support Egypt's healthcare systems and its workers, and accelerate the country’s ambitious vaccination goals, the USAID stated.