Coronavirus infections in Egypt exceed China for the first time

The number of people infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Egypt has exceeded infections in China, the country where the virus originated, for the first time since the virus emerged in Egypt.

Egypt officially, up until Tuesday, registered 83,930 cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the crisis in mid-February. In China the number has reached 83,605.

The Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, previously estimated that the total number of coronavirus infections recorded in his country exceeds five times the official announced figure. Observers say that Egypt kept the numbers of its tests for coronavirus low so that the infection rates remain low.

According to official figures, the daily index of corona infections continued to stabilise for the sixth consecutive day below the level of 1,000 cases, recording 929 positive cases on Tuesday. The daily corona injury index shows that the curve reversed direction and retreated from June 19, which recorded the height of corona infections with 1,774 cases, and the numbers remained level, between 1,300 and 1,600 daily cases. However, since June 29, the index witnessed a continuous decline, as the index began to decrease to less than 1,566 new cases, until it settled to under 1,000 infections for more than one day.

Medical sources say that, based on the announced official rates, Egypt has exceeded the peak of coronavirus, “unless there is a reversal of the infection cases rates again.” The numbers recorded in the daily statement of the Egyptian Ministry of Health depends on cases that prove positive for COVID-19 after tests. However, these tests have been performed in small numbers, which makes that procedure unrealistic because not all suspected infection cases were subjected to that test. Doctors and patients confirm that in many cases, only regular and cross-sectional x-rays were performed, as well as blood analyses.

The daily mortality index stabilised at the level of 70 cases for the second day in a row, recording 73 new cases, exceeding a total of 4,000 deaths. The death toll from the virus continued to fluctuate reaching the peak recorded in the number of deaths in mid-July when it recorded 97 cases. The total death rate increased again compared to the total infections, to 4.7 per cent, due to the recorded 4,008 deaths. However, it is still below the average global death rate recorded by the World Health Organisation by 5.3 per cent, according to Dr. Amjad al-Khouli, the WHO’s epidemiologist.

Coronavirus deaths, which are officially registered in Egypt, are less than those in China. China officially registered 4,634 deaths from the virus. The recovery rate continued to be active this week, with 569 coronavirus patients completely recovered.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Health, 25,544 have fully recovered from symptoms of the emerging coronavirus and have been discharged from quarantine hospitals. Until now, there are 54,378 positive cases in Egypt, distributed among isolation hospitals, or subject to home isolation until recovery is complete, according to the official data of the Ministry of Health.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that according to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, the disappearance of symptoms for 10 days is an indication that the patient is recovering. International researchers questioned the official figures, stressing that the real numbers are much greater, but the Egyptian government denied this, before an Egyptian minister estimated the real numbers to be five to seven times higher than the announced figures.