Egypt Watch

High rates of coronavirus infections herald second wave

Coronavirus infection rates have increased again, heralding a new wave of COVID-19 in a country where the heath system is poor. During recent days, Egypt recorded a significant increase in deaths and infections, daily, before the government described these increases as a “negative trend.” The infections in Egypt are close to about 100,000 cases, and more than 5,300 deaths, with Egypt topping the list of countries with the most deaths in the Middle East. The government warned against a return to tightening precautionary measures, especially with the approaching end of the summer season.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said that the recent increase in the number of infected is prompting the Egyptian authorities to exercise caution, follow-up tightening precautionary measures, and apply specific penalties for violators. He warned of a new wave, and a significant increase in the incidence and death curve, as happened in some other countries. He mentioned that citizens began to belittle and disregard the precautionary measures, commenting: “The situation is worrying and we must be concerned because of the behaviour we see, which is something we will pay for if it continues.” “The danger still exists, and the situation could be reversed, with thousands of daily infections recorded, as happened in European countries.” Madbouly ordered, in this context, that the triage and medical quarantine hospitals continue to operate, receive the infected and provide the necessary medical services to them, and stress the commitment to various precautionary measures.

Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed presented the latest developments regarding COVID-19. The minister discussed the expected scenarios for the second wave of the emerging coronavirus, if it occurs. She explained that the occurrence of a second wave is linked to a false sense of safety among people that the epidemic is over. Thus, it pushes them to be lax in adhering to the precautionary measures, adhering to wearing masks, and practicing social distancing. The minister pointed out that finding a vaccine will not prevent the transmission of infection but will reduce the infection’s chance of spreading. In the event of a disease, it will reduce the severity of symptoms.

Egypt abandoned many of the precautionary measures it imposed last March to confront the outbreak, with the number of infections declining, such as the reopening of mosques, cafes, and parks.