CAIRO: Following a Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the Governors Council Thursday as part of Egypt’s measures to prevent the potential spread of the swine flu virus, the PM announced that schools will be postponed till Oct. 3 not the Sept 26 as it was announced earlier.
Nazif added that the government may not allow Hajj pilgrimage this year if the virus spreads more among Egyptians and if the vaccine does not reach Egypt before the Hajj begins in two months time.
In related news, Saudi Arabia has issued a list of regulations to be adhered to by all pilgrims to be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia for Hajj.
The Saudi officials said no one will be given entry permission until the authorities verify the health certificate and make sure that the pilgrim is not infected by any type of flu including the regular seasonal flu.
They added that official health certificates, which must be approved by the health ministry of the pilgrim’s country, should be delivered to Saudi Arabian officials at least two weeks before their date of arrival to get their entry visas.
If the H1N1 vaccine is available before Hajj, the statement added, then all pilgrims will be required to take it in advance.
Some international pharmaceutical companies announced that they have successfully managed to produce a new vaccine for the H1N1 virus.
In Egypt, the official cabinet spokesman Magdy Raday announced on Thursday that the total number of deaths from H1N1 in the world has reached 3,491 deaths and that the virus has spread among 193 countries.
According to Rady the Middle East area has witnessed 9,945 infected cases and 81 deaths in 21 countries.
“There were 26 deaths in Saudi Arabia, 21 in Israel, 12 in Oman and those three countries constitute 20 percent of the total number of deaths in the region, Rady said.
Egypt has only reported two deaths.
Rady also added that Egypt currently has five million packs of Tamiflu, the drug used to treat H1N1 flu and that the government has secured a deal to receive five million doses of the new vaccine over several stages.
“Egypt will get 80,000 doses of the new vaccine by next October, 1 million in Jauary, 1,137,000 million in March, 550,000 in April and 2 million in May.
Rady further added that Egypt has 300,000 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine and 45,000 masks.
Until time of press, Egypt’s total number of infected cases had reached 860 and the average age of infected patients is 22, according to the Ministry’s of Health official press release.
The ministry has detected 15 new cases on Friday.
The number of recovered cases has reached 763.