Coronavirus deaths spiking in Egypt due to Omicron variant

Coronavirus infections and deaths increased noticeably in recent days in Egypt, which prompted the Ministry of Health to stop all non-emergency operations in all its hospitals, and to allocate half of the total number of beds in them to coronavirus patients.

Infections have increased significantly since the beginning of this year, and reached their peak on Saturday, January 29, when 2018 infections were recorded, which is the highest number officially recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, which means that the real number is at least 10 times more, according to officials’ statements.

Deaths from coronavirus increased notably during January, which reached its climax last Saturday, with the daily counter of the Ministry of Health recording 44 new deaths, while the number is likely to be much greater because the government has tried to underplay the number of deaths from the virus. Thus, the total statistics of the Coronavirus in Egypt, as of last Saturday, is 421,478 infections, including 354,300 cases that have been cured, and 22,566 deaths. This means that there are 44,612 active cases.

Health officials in the country attribute the reason for the increase in infections and deaths to the Omicron variant, claiming that it has “a tremendous ability to spread, close to three times the original coronavirus, and four times the seasonal flu,” which results in the spread of infections in families very quickly.

Informal emergency

The government is conservative in its statements about coronavirus, for fear of affecting the economic situation, but the leaks indicate that there is a decision pending to declare an emergency in hospitals. This comes after the ministry noted that the occupancy rates for intensive care beds exceeded 70 per cent in most hospitals in Cairo Governorate, which decided to receive all government hospitals for patients with the coronavirus, after their treatment was limited to fever and chest hospitals.

Quantity of vaccines and vaccinated

The total number of vaccines that Egypt was able to obtain, whether through purchase, manufacture, donations, or through the Kovax mechanism, in cooperation with the International Alliance for Vaccines and Vaccines Gavi, reached about 140 million doses.

The total number of vaccinated people reached 37.2 million citizens, including 25.8 million people who received the second dose, and 615,000 who received the third booster dose, with a total number of 63.5 million. Thus, about 50 per cent of adults in Egypt have received vaccinations, and about a third of the Egyptian population, which is about 103 million people, have obtained vaccinations, but the problem is that there is a significant slowdown in vaccination operations due to the rejection of vaccines by sectors of the people due to rumours spread around them, which do not work. The government should deal with it as it should.

The increase in the number of newly vaccinated people ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 people per day, which is much lower than what was the case at the beginning of the vaccination campaigns, while there are still more than 30 million adults who did not receive vaccinations, which means the government should move quickly to persuade large segments of citizens to receive vaccinations.