The Delta variant has been in Egypt for a month and a half, but government officials are lying

For months, health officials in Egypt continued to deny that the Delta variant has entered the country. Dr. Mohammed Awad Taj El-Din, Adviser to the President of the Republic for Health Affairs, Dr. Ashraf Hatem, Chairman of the Health Committee in the House of Representatives, and member of the Supreme Committee for Viruses, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Nadi, a member of the Scientific Committee to combat coronavirus, have all denied during the past month and a half the detection of a delta mutant in the country. It was as if the announcement of the Delta variant into Egypt was an insult to the nation.

Most likely, the government decided to lie and hide the truth, so as not to submit to pressure to impose preventive closure measures, at a time when it is seeking to return to normal life again and is introducing tourism promotion programmes. Lying has become a distinctive feature of officials in Egypt, who resort to it either to exaggerate achievements, to manage crises, or to avoid public pressure. The Minister of Planning, Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, confirmed in televised statements that Egypt is the only country that has achieved positive growth rates in light of the corona pandemic, which is not true.

According to data from the International Monetary Fund, from which the government borrows billions of dollars, there are at least 20 countries that achieved positive growth rates during 2020, where Egypt ranked sixth in the world, and third in Africa, with a growth rate of 3.6 per cent, and after the countries of Guyana at 43.4 per cent, Ethiopia at 6.1 per cent, Guinea at 5.2 per cent, Tajikistan at 4.5 per cent and Bangladesh at 3.8 per cent.

On August 12, Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, tried to justify the establishment of the Suez Canal branch in 2015, which devoured billions of dollars at a time when Egypt was suffering from a severe foreign exchange crisis. He said that “since the opening of the new Suez Canal and the number of ships increased, revenues are increasing.” Official figures issued by the Suez Canal Authority confirm that this is not true, as revenues, tonnage and the number of ships has decreased more than once since the opening of the canal.

In the opening year 2015/2016, revenues decreased to $5.13 billion, after reaching $5.37 billion in 2015/2014, which means a drop in revenue of about $240 million, then decreased again after the opening. Its revenues amounted to only $5 billion in 2016/2017, down from $5.13 billion. The number of ships and tonnage also decreased during the fiscal years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, before rising again.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi also does not shy away from lying to justify the failures of his regime. He has repeatedly blamed the January 25, 2011, revolution for the Renaissance Dam crisis, for which his regime failed to reach a solution for despite eight years of negotiations with Ethiopia. The truth contradicts Sisi’s statements. The reality is that Ethiopia began preparing for the construction of the Renaissance Dam years before the January revolution, and the regime of President Hosni Mubarak was aware of this. In 2009, it formed a committee from the ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Irrigation and Electricity to study the issue of the dam.

Before the January Revolution, about six months ago and specifically in August 2010, Addis Ababa completed the process of surveying the site of the Renaissance Dam, and then completed in November the design and announced its intention to implement it in 2011. These are examples of open lies told by Egyptian officials during the past few months, which leads us to believe that lies and lack of transparency have become distinctive features of officials in Egypt, and leads us to wonder about the extent of the lies that have not been revealed so far, and to what extent they will affect the homeland and its future.