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Egypt to vaccinate half of its population this year

More than 2 million people have received their first dose

Egypt has announced the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions, as a government spokesman said the country planned to vaccinate  500,000 people a day so that 50% of the population was vaccinated by the end of this year.

Egyptian Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said that the expansion of vaccine distribution had contributed to the improved epidemiological situation, as had the application of precautionary measures. According to Saad, 2.1 million people have received their first vaccine dose so far and 625,000 have received both.

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.

Madbouly was speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis. The committee agreed to lift the 9pm curfew on restaurants, malls and coffee shops in early June, warning that any establishment pre-empting this date would be immediately closed for two weeks.

It also agreed to continue to only allow weddings in open spaces as it was difficult to apply precautionary measures at large gatherings.

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. Zayed also pointed out the steps for manufacturing Sinovac locally and the supply plan until the end of this year, estimated at 40 million doses.

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