CAIRO: Egypt has recorded a significant decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases, leading officials to believe that the country has passed the peak of the second wave.
The Ministry of Health on Friday recorded 589 new cases and 48 deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 16,871, with 128,800 recoveries and 9,217 deaths.
There were 521 cases and 54 deaths recorded on Thursday.
Presidential adviser Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din said the official statistics did not reflect the actual number of infected cases and were only a general indication.
“Recorded cases by the Health Ministry first reached 1,000 and then decreased to around 500, which means the passing of the second wave of the coronavirus,” he said.
He added that state-enforced strict precautionary measures, reduced gatherings, online education and other steps had contributed to a significant reduction in cases.
“Large numbers are treated outside health institutions. However, the number of deaths covers both who died inside hospitals and outside.”
Egypt’s Health Minister Dr. Hala Zayed said the vaccination process would have a role in reducing the number of deaths and that the vaccine would have an effect on reducing symptoms, preventing infection and limiting the outbreak.
Egypt last Sunday began treating medical workers with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
Zayed said that the country was one of the first to prepare itself to combat the virus shortly after the first infections were announced. He added that Egypt’s health system had experience, knowledge and information about the pandemic.
Mohamed Abdel Fattah, head of the Central Administration for Preventive Medicine Affairs at the Health Ministry, said that the number of daily cases recorded by the ministry had decreased by more than 50 percent from last December to this January, in addition to a decrease of more than 15 percent this week compared to the previous week.
This decline was not the only sign that Egypt had passed the peak, he said, as the remarkable decrease in the number of people visiting hospitals and seeking medical services was also an indication that the country was on the right path.
The third indicator was people’s commitment to precautionary measures to combat the virus. Most citizens wore masks in public places and on transport. Therefore, he added, Egypt was moving very well on its way to ride out of the crisis.
Hossam Hosni, head of the scientific committee aiming at combating the virus, said in televised statements that the virus had “come under control.”
The epidemiological situation was also better than it had been in the past two weeks, as occupancy rates in hospitals, oxygen consumption and the use of ventilators had decreased.
“Recovery rates are very good and we hope the epidemic will end,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)