Roundup: Egypt reports 49 new daily COVID-19 cases, lowest in over 15 months

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CAIRO, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Egypt reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the lowest in over 15 months, marking a remarkable decline which is believed as a result of the vaccination drive and precautionary measures taken to contain the pandemic's spread.

The total COVID-19 cases in Egypt rose to 283,862, while its death toll increased to 16,465 and its total recoveries climbed to 225,869, said the Egyptian Health Ministry in a midnight statement.

Wednesday's daily coronavirus infections marked the lowest in Egypt since March 30 last year, when the country reported 47 COVID-19 cases.

The data shows a massive downturn in the curve of the third wave of the pandemic in the most populous Arab country, which explains why the government has recently increased the capacity of hotels and entertainment places from 50 percent to 70 percent.

Mohamed Ahmed Ali, professor of virology at Egypt's National Research Center, told Xinhua on Thursday that "the vaccination and the precautionary measures implemented in Egypt led to the current decline of COVID-19 daily infections."

Ali, also member of the anti-coronavirus committee at the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, explained that the more people are vaccinated and precautionary measures are implemented, the lower chances for the rise in infections.

"Although the COVID-19 vaccines haven't been taken by a lot of Egyptians, vaccination has contributed to reduce the infection cases," he said, stressing that "the vaccine is the number one factor that leads to declining cases, and the precautionary measures comes next."

Egypt has been cooperating with China in producing the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines in the North African country, as per an agreement signed in April between Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.

On July 18, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry attended a virtual ceremony marking the joint production of 1 million doses of the vaccine in Egypt.

The cooperation between Egypt and China in COVID-19 vaccine production was praised by the World Health Organization earlier in July as "a successful model for international cooperation and transfer of global expertise, which contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals."

The decline of COVID-19 cases in Egypt comes more than a year after the country saw a peak of COVID-19 daily infections and deaths, with a record 97 deaths registered on June 15, 2020 and a record 1,774 infections reported on June 19, 2020.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14, 2020 and the first death from the respiratory disease on March 8 of the same year.

A recent report of The Economist placed Egypt the fourth among 50 major economies in the world in terms of showing resilience amid the COVID-19 crisis. Enditem

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