Egypt’s COVID-19 infection rate in 3rd wave 10% higher than previous waves: Health Minister

Mohammed El-Said
3 Min Read

Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed has revealed that the rate of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) during the current third wave is 10% higher than the previous two waves.

Speaking during a press conference on Saturday to outline the situation, Zayed said that the rate of infection is increasing by 10% on a weekly basis. She noted that her ministry is working at 50% of bed capacity, whilst there is a capacity of 47% of available beds in many governorates.

Zayed called on citizens to bring any infected person in their family to hospitals immediately, particularly if they suffer from a chronic disease or are over 50 years of age.

The minister noted that cases should go to hospital if they have spent up to 10 days at home but their condition has deteriorated. She stressed the importance of seeking medical advice through the 14444 hotline, and of using the hotline 105 to report cases. 

On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Population reported 884 new coronavirus cases and 45 new deaths, raising the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 220,658 cases, and the total number of fatalities to 12,959 deaths. A total of 166,024 cases recovered and have been discharged from quarantine facilities at hospitals.

Zayed noted that among the total of 500 doctors who have died of COVID-19, only 115 doctors have died due to contracting the infection during their work at isolation hospitals. The remaining deaths among doctors were due to their contracting the infection through daily activities. 

Regarding the imposing of a partial lockdown as a precautionary measure against the pandemic, the minister said that it is not her authority to make such a decision. It is, instead, the national committee to combat COVID-19, headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, that will take such a decision. 

She further stressed the need for citizens to consider the precautionary measures against COVID-19, and avoiding gatherings. 

Zayed also revealed that a pharmaceutical factory belonging to the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) is being built in the 6th of October City which will work on manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.

“The ministry aims to meet Egypt’s needs for COVID-19 vaccines, and to prepare for the distribution of vaccines to Africa,” Zayed said, explaining that Egypt will produce 40 million doses of the vaccine this year.

According to Zayed, Egypt has reserved 100 million doses of different COVID-19 vaccines, with new batches of the Chinese Sinopharm and AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccines to arrive in Egypt soon. 

The minister stressed that all vaccines are safe and will be essential for international travel. 

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Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.