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New vaccines push shots pace

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‘Bird flu’ blamed for shortage of eggs

KUWAIT CITY, April 4: The Ministry of Health has extended the contract of air ambulance and medical evacuation services to six months at a cost of $7.452 million dollars, equivalent to 2.262 million dinars, for a period of six months, an increase of 20% over the previous cost. The Al-Seyassah daily has learned from well-informed health sources that the extension of the contract is attributed to the time frame since next contract ends next September and it will take time to float the new tender for the provision of air ambulance and evacuation services.

On the other hand, well-informed health sources revealed that second batch of ‘AstraZeneca’ vaccine – about 150,000 doses – has arrived from Russia on board the Emirates Airlines. The same sources said, the vaccines will be distributed to various vaccination centers in health areas this week, and another similar batch is expected to arrive within 10 days, pointing out that the Ministry of Health will increase the number of vaccination centers to 7 in each health region this week.

The sources stated that the eleventh batch of the ‘Pfizer-Biontech’ vaccine will arrive this afternoon, from Belgium, also on board the Emirates Airlines. The sources revealed the Ministry has limited the working hours to 12 at the Kuwait Vaccination Center at the Mishref Fairgrounds during the holy month of Ramadan, saying the center will receive people from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

The ministry affirmed that it will continue to restore a balance in the immunization movement against “Covid-19” inside the country, by raising the pace of vaccination and catching with the pace of global immunization by vaccinating a quarter of Kuwait’s population during the month of Ramadan.

The sources stated the existing doses are intended to be the second for those who have received the first, and those registered on the Ministry’s website will resume receiving doses from today. In the global immunization indicators, Kuwait ranks 44th and fourth in the Gulf out of 159 countries around the world. Poultry farms production decreased from 2.7 million eggs per day to 700,000 according to a reliable source, reports Al-Rai daily. Informed sources said a large number of poultry farms in Kuwait have stopped producing eggs recently, due to the spread of bird flu after a big number of eggs laying chicks were culled which means a loss of about three quarters of the supplied quantity of local eggs.

The sources pointed out that “the daily local consumption of eggs is about 72,000 cartons (2.16 million eggs) per day during this period.” The sources indicated “the concerned authorities have worked during the past days to study solutions to the crisis,” noting that “the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has moved, under the direction of Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman, to take prompt solutions, including stopping exports and communicating with the main egg suppliers to double their quotas locally.

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies

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