Egypt Watch

Egypt to suffer third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in April

Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Thursday that the number of coronavirus infections in Egypt is expected to increase by April. In a video conference with the WHO about COVID-19 updates in Africa, Zayed said the Egyptian Health Ministry expects an increase in infection rates in April but that the curve will decline in May. Zayed also revealed that the seventh week in both the first and second waves of the pandemic witnessed a peak in infections and fatalities.

Egypt suffered its second wave of coronavirus in early December due to poor governmental performance, which led to sharp rise in the rates of infections and deaths. In January, the curve sloped down with the closure of schools. Egypt has so far registered 171,290 cases of coronavirus, including 133,331 recoveries and 9,804 fatalities. However, the credibility of those statistics suffered recurrent shocks, which pushed the government to admit that the true numbers could be ten times more than what was documented.

The minister also thanked COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) for its help in providing vaccines to low and middle-income countries. COVAX delivered to Egypt its first shipment of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in late January. Egypt started its vaccination campaign using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine last month, starting with medical teams nationwide. However, the Egyptian government has refused a free mass vaccination and decided to sell the vaccine to the population with limited exceptions. The decision not to present a free vaccination along with the poor governmental performance in combating infection rates has raised widespread criticism, including a lawsuit filed by the high-profile lawyer Khaled Ali against the Egyptian government demanding it give the vaccine for free to all people.