Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19
A man wearing a protective face mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic walks in Cairo, Egypt November 23, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 24 November 2020

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

Egyptian authorities confirm second wave of COVID-19

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed on Monday confirmed that the country is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The official confirmation came during her meeting with Bahaa El-Din Zidan, the head of the Unified Medical Procurement Authority, and Tamer Essam, head of the Egyptian Drug Authority, to discuss the availability of drugs and medical supplies required to treat infected patients. Essam said the authority is prepared to meet the increasing demand for COVID-19 treatments.

Khaled Mujahid, an adviser to the minister of health and population for media affairs, said that the participants in the meeting reviewed the inventory of medicines and other medical equipment.

“The minister emphasized the importance of providing medicines and medical supplies that Egypt (distributes) to various countries to support them in facing crises, in accordance with the directives of the political leadership,” he added.

Mujahid said the minister also discussed ways to address online sales of medications, which can put people’s health at risk. The public was urged only to obtain drugs and medical supplies from pharmacies or official healthcare providers.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered ongoing assessments of the readiness of hospitals across the country to receive coronavirus patients, and the availability of the drugs and equipment needed to treat them.

Ahmed El-Ezaby, chairman of Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber, said all medicines are available as usual in pharmacies and there have been no complaints of any shortages. Manufacturers have altered production schedules to meet current demands and have built up enough inventory of completed items, or the ingredients to make them, to last for between six and nine months, he added.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health on Sunday announced 351 new confirmed cases of infection and 13 additional deaths. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 113,027. Of those, 101,881 patients have recovered and 6,548 died. The remaining cases remain active.

 


Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
A military vehicle is stationed on the tarmac of Yemen’s Aden airport. Yemen says the Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace to the country. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 January 2021

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
  • International community urged not to surrender to ‘blackmailing and intimidation’ 
  • Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace, Yemen PM said

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s prime minister has vowed to address any impact on humanitarian assistance or the remittances of citizens abroad following the US move to designate the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist organization.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed also urged the international community not to surrender to “Houthi blackmailing” and intimidation.
Saeed defended his government’s strong support of the designation during a virtual interview with foreign journalists sponsored by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies.
He said that his government had formed a committee to handle any effects on the delivery of humanitarian assistance inside Houthi-controlled areas and the remittances of Yemenis abroad.
“We are determined to prevent any impact of the decision on the Yemenis. We have formed a committee to mitigate effects of the decision,” he said.
When the US announced its intention to designate the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization last week, Yemen’s government quickly urged the US administration to put the decision in place, predicting it would stop Houthi crimes and their looting of humanitarian assistance, and would smoothe the way for peace.
Referring to the impact of the US designation on peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, Saeed said that the decision would not undermine peace efforts. He said that the Houthis would be accepted as part of the Yemeni political and social spectrum when they abandoned hard-line ideologies and embraced equality and justice.

The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, Yemen’s prime minister

“This is an important pressure card on them and a real definition of them,” he said, adding that the Yemenis would not allow the Houthi movement to rule them.
“Yemen would not be ruled by a racist and terrorist group,” he said.
Formed under the Riyadh Agreement, Yemen’s new government’s ministers narrowly escaped death on Dec. 30 when three precision-guided missiles ripped through Aden airport shortly after their plane touched down.
The government accused the Houthis of staging the attack, saying that missile fragments collected from the airport showed that they were similar to missiles that targeted Marib city in the past.
The prime minister said that the Yemeni government had offered many concessions to reach an agreement to end the war. It had agreed to engage in direct talks with the Houthis in Stockholm in 2018 despite the fact that the Yemeni government forces were about to seize control of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah. However, the Stockholm Agreement had failed to bring peace to Yemen, he said.
“The government forces were about to capture the city within five days maximum. The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed,” Saeed said.
In Riyadh, Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday appointed Ahmed Obeid bin Daghar, a former prime minister and a senior adviser to the president, as president of the Shoura Council.
Hadi also appointed Ahmed Ahmed Al-Mousai as the country’s new attorney general.
Fighting continues
Heavy fighting between Yemeni government forces and the Houthis broke out on Sunday for the third consecutive day in contested areas in the districts of Hays and Durihimi in the western province of Hodeidah. Official media said that dozens of Houthi rebels and several government troops were killed in the fighting and loyalists pushed back three assaults by Houthis in Durihimi district.
In neighboring Hays, the Joint Forces media said on Sunday that the Houthis hit government forces with heavy weapons before launching a ground attack in an attempt to seize control of new areas in the district.
The Houthis failed to make any gains and lost dozens of fighters along with several military vehicles that were burnt in the fighting, the same media outlets said. Heavy artillery shelling and land mines planted by the Houthis have killed more than 500 civilians since late 2018, local rights groups said.