Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered that there be no New Year’s Eve celebrations or gatherings, as part of precautionary measures to confront the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During the cabinet’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, Madbouly also called for precautionary measures to be implemented against the virus. He also instructed that measures should be taken to counteract violations of these procedures with utmost firmness, adding that there is a clear direction for all ministries and relevant authorities in this regard.
This comes as part of the state’s keenness to avoid, as much as possible, the imposing of complete closures of facilities. It is hoped that this step will not be needed, to avoid the economic impacts which will clearly affect the lives of citizens. As part of this, the state will not accept complacency in implementing the measures.
The Prime Minister directed for the Ministers of Health, and Higher Education, to allocate a sufficient number of hospitals providing isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients. This will ensure patients receive the necessary treatment, with the ministries also providing the necessary oxygen to all hospitals, as well as to those citizens who need such facilities.
Madbouly added that Egypt has a total of 364 hospitals equipped to deal with COVID-19 patients. This means that the country now has 35,000 in-room beds, 5,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 2,400 respirators, and 200 new respirators distributed.
The Prime Minister also said that a website will be provided to register those wishing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The website will also specify a centre and health unit in each governorate where vaccinations will be provided, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior for insurance.
He also noted that the last five days have witnessed more than one meeting with Egypt’s governors. The meetings were held to confirm the implementation of precautionary measures and follow up on compliance with this matter.
During the meeting, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed presented a report on the latest developments regarding the coronavirus in Egypt. During the review, Zayed referred to the increasing rate of infections at the governorate level.
She also confirmed the readiness of Ministry of Health hospitals to receive COVID-19 cases, and also confirmed the efforts made to support the medical sector with all its requirements.
Zayed outlined Egypt’s position regarding vaccines, and confirmed that the tests for the vaccine will be completed by next week through the National Authority for Drug Control and Research.
The minister noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a series of training opportunities on the new vaccine for health service providers. She also said that her ministry is undertaking the necessary efforts to coordinate the organisation of training on the new vaccine for health service providers in Egypt.
Zayed confirmed that a meeting was held with the Ministry of Health and Population’s scientific committee to discuss the effects of the newly identified variants of the coronavirus.
She confirmed that there is no scientific evidence indicating any effects of the new variants’ on the rate of infection or its severity, or the spread of the virus, and it was agreed that Egypt would conduct research to study the change.