Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population said on Saturday that social restrictions and protective measures are the first wall of defence in limiting the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) variants.
These measures include wearing a medical mask properly, practicing social distancing, washing hands, and getting vaccinated.
In a statement, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar stated that the ministry is following around the clock the epidemiological situation in Egypt and the world, regarding what was announced about the emergence of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, known as Omicron (B.1.1.529).
He stressed that vaccination is still the main tool to prevent severe symptoms and deaths caused by COVID-19, noting that the ministry is working hard to vaccinate citizens, with priority given to groups at high risk.
Abdel Ghaffar said that Egypt was able, in a short period, to secure all anti-coronavirus vaccines: Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for the Management of the Coronavirus Crisis decided to suspend direct flights with South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini.
Omicron was first detected on 23 November in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution had announced Omicron as a variant “of concern”.
The Belgium health authorities had detected an Omicron case of a traveller coming from Egypt. Abdel Ghaffar commented: “There is no official record of any Omicron infections in Egypt.”
“The mentioned case was in Egypt on 11 November, but the disease symptoms appeared on 22 November, so he could contract the virus elsewhere,” Abdel Ghaffar said on Friday.