Official figures announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Health revealed that the number of people infected with coronavirus have multiplied nearly eight times during the month of April. Coronavirus appeared for the first time (officially) in Egypt on February 14. This was the case of a Chinese person, and the numbers remained very low in February. The number increased in March – on March 31, the number of infected people reached 710, and deaths 46. The number of infected people multiplied during April to reach at the end of the month almost eight times the number of people.
On April 30 the number of infected people reached 5,537, and deaths multiplied more than 8.5 times, to 392 cases. Until March 31, 2020, the daily infection rate was approximately 50, and rarely exceeded that number throughout the month of March. On March 31 (one of the highest infection days in March) the number was 54.
However, at the end of April, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population announced that it had recorded a large number of coronavirus cases, reaching 269, in addition to the death of 12 people. Daily infection rates in late April exceeded 200, and remained above 250 on the last days of April. Despite the significant increase in the number of people infected and dying from coronavirus in Egypt, the Egyptian authorities have started easing measures put in place to confront the coronavirus.
The Egyptian authorities reduced the imposed quarantine in the country one week ago and announced a “general plan to coexist” with the coronavirus. Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed presented what she described as a “general plan for coexistence” in light of the uncertainty regarding the timeframe for the continuation of the coronavirus crisis, during a government meeting on Wednesday morning.
This raised many questions about whether the Egyptian regime had changed its plan to deal with the coronavirus. According to a statement published by the official page of the Council of Ministers, the “coexistence plan” is based on following all necessary precautions strictly and decisively in the various facilities, and reassessing the epidemiological situation every 14 days. Observers considered that the announcement of the reduction of procedures in light of the high numbers of casualties was illogical.
The Egyptian government did not mention a specific reason why it had changed its procedures, but Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly indicated what he said were the negative repercussions of the coronavirus on the Egyptian national economy. Egypt, like most countries in the world, has witnessed debate between businessmen who demand the return to work but taking preventive measures, and between those who demand a complete closure until the wave of the spread of the virus passes, to protect the health of Egyptians and prevent the collapse of the health system.
Observers warn that reducing the response to the virus, with no alternative measures, means that the number of infected people multiply, which the health system won’t be able to deal with. Doctors say that if the number of those infected with coronavirus in Egypt, whose population amounts to 104 million, explodes, hospitals will not be able to absorb the number of patients. April’s infection numbers indicate the virus has not subsided, but is still spreading.