Cairo, Egypt | THE INDEPENDENT | The coronavirus spread has suddenly spiked in Egypt as the north African country reported 911 new COVID-19 infections and 42 deaths on Wednesday, said Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed.
After this spike, total deaths reached 7,209 while infections hit 127,972, the minister told reporters during a press conference on the recent developments of the pandemic in Egypt.
The minister revealed that provinces of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and Qalyubia have registered the highest numbers of infections this week, pointing out that 363 hospitals have been prepared to receive COVID-19 patients across the country.
Zayed said that Egypt signed contracts on December 4 with the Global Vaccine Alliance and Immunizations (GAVI) to obtain vaccines for the novel coronavirus, adding that Egypt received the first batch of vaccines already.
The priority of distributing the vaccine would be given to the medical staff in isolation hospitals, people with chronic diseases like cancer and kidney failure, and the elderly, Zayed noted.
On December 10, Egypt received the first batch of Chinese anti-coronavirus vaccine to help fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. The batch of the vaccine, developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm, came from the United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Wednesday that New Year’s Eve celebrations will be banned in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus amid the rising daily infection tolls reported recently nationwide.
Madbouy instructed all concerned authorities to strictly confront violations of the precautionary measures to avoid enforcing a lockdown that will bear negative economic repercussions, official Ahram Online news website reported.
Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the viral disease on March 8.
COVID-19 daily infections in Egypt have been climbing in recent weeks. Around mid-June, Egypt saw a peak of COVID-19 daily infections and fatalities before they started to gradually decline in the first week of July.
Amid declining COVID-19 infections and deaths, Egypt has been easing relevant restrictions over the past three months as part of a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.