Egypt has announced the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions, as a government spokesman said the country planned to jab 500,000 people a day so that 50 percent of the population was vaccinated by the end of this year.
Egyptian Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad also said that the expansion of vaccine distribution had contributed to the improved epidemiological situation as had the application of precautionary measures.
He said that 2.1 million people had received their first vaccine dose so far and that 625,000 had received both.
There were 403 vaccination centers nationwide in addition to mobile centers, he said, and the mobile centers were in front of post offices while the vaccination was being given out to pensioners because they were one of the target groups.
Saad said that 3 million doses of the Sinovac jab would be manufactured in June, and there were 110,000 people who were getting jabbed every day.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the state would continue to take all measures and decisions to preserve the health and safety of all people during the pandemic.
He was speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis.
The committee agreed to lift the 9 p.m. curfew on restaurants, malls and coffee shops starting early June, warning that any establishment pre-empting this date would be immediately closed for two weeks.
It said that all preventive and precautionary measures would be applied in public places, especially those that witnessed noticeable congestion, while those who violated COVID-19 protocols would be fined.
It also agreed to continue to only allow weddings in open spaces as it was difficult to apply precautionary measures at large gatherings.
Bahaa El-Din Zidan, chairman of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and Technology Management, said a contract for 20 million doses had been completed with the Emirati company supplying the Sputnik V vaccine in the region.
He said that the African Export-Import Bank had been contracted to supply 20 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and, at the same time, a million doses of Sinovac had been contracted.
Hala Zayed, the minister of health and population, said that Egypt was expected to receive 2 million Sinovac and Sinopharm doses in the first half of June, in addition to 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the COVAX initiative.
The minister pointed out the steps for manufacturing Sinovac locally and the supply plan until the end of this year, estimated at 40 million doses.
She emphasized that work was underway to complete the vaccination of those who had registered as soon as possible by expanding the establishment of more centers.
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