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COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt

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COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Egypt.svg
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationEgypt
First caseCairo
Arrival date14 February 2020
(1 year, 1 week and 3 days)
OriginWuhan, Hubei, China
Confirmed cases41,303 (as of 12 June)[1]
Active cases28,773 (as of 12 June)
Recovered11,108 (as of 12 June)
Deaths
1,422 (as of 12 June)
Territories
Cases in 26 Governorates

The COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have reached Egypt on 14 February 2020.

Background[edit source | edit]

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[2][3]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[4][5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[6][4]

Timeline[edit source | edit]

Template:COVID-19 pandemic data/Egypt medical cases chart

February[edit source | edit]

Egypt's health ministry announced the first case in the country at Cairo International Airport involving a Chinese national on 14 February.[7][8] Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization (WHO) and the patient had been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital.[9] Preventive measures were subsequently taken to monitor those who came into contact with the person where the others tested negative.[10]

In late February and early March, multiple foreign severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases associated with travel to Egypt were reported – including two cases in the United States, two cases in Tunisia (Plus several potential cases as the two initial cases were part of 1,000 now quarantined football supporters who visited Egypt from Tunis from 27 February to 1 March)[11][12] two cases in France,[13] one case in Canada,[14] and one case in Taiwan.[15]

On 28 February, the Egyptian cabinet officially denied rumors of covering up SARS-CoV-2 cases.[16] On 1 March, Qatar banned all arrivals from Egypt, excepting Qatari nationals, as a safety measure to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2.[17] On the same day, Egypt announced the detection of a second case of SARS-CoV-2.[18] On 2 March, Kuwait announced that it would test all arrivals from Egypt and Syria for SARS-CoV-2.[19] It was estimated by Egypt Watch that Egypt had 20 lab-confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, which was reported by Middle East Monitor on 2 March. The people with confirmed cases were claimed to be held in military hospitals, inaccessible to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and official health statistics reported to WHO. Confirmed cases allegedly absent from official statistics included a family in Tanta Military Hospital and four people in Qasr El Eyni Hospital.[20]

March[edit source | edit]

8 March: A 60-year-old German citizen died in Hurghada, the first German fatality from the virus.[21]

9 March: The World Health Organization said that there were 56 confirmed cases in Egypt.[22] On the same day, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism said that they discovered 3 additional cases with three people who work in a hotel.[23]

12 March: The Ministry of Health announced the second death from the virus and that the total number of cases stood at 80.[24]

13 March: The Ministry of Health announced that one more case has recovered and 13 more have tested positive, bringing the total cases to 93.[25] On the same day, a second Tunisian coming back from Egypt tested positive for the virus and Tunisia officially added Egypt to a list of outbreak areas by closing its borders to it and imposing a quarantine to anyone coming from the country.[26]

18 March: Police detained four activists after they protested in front of the cabinet headquarters calling for the release of political prisoners to protect them from the spread of coronavirus.[27]

19 March: The Ministry of Health in Egypt announced a new death and 46 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected to 256 cases, including 7 deaths and recovering 28 of those infected. The Egyptian government also made a decision to close all restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and public places throughout the country from seven in the evening until six in the morning, starting from Thursday 19 to 31 March 2020.[citation needed]The decision excluded places that sell food, pharmacies and home delivery services.[28]

20 March: The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced the death of a 60-year-old Egyptian citizen who was returning from Italy, and 29 cases proved positive laboratory analyzes of the virus including a case of a foreigner and 28 Egyptians, some of whom are returning from abroad, while others who are in contact with positive cases that have been discovered and announced previously, bringing the total of the injured to 285 cases, including 39 who were cured and discharged from the isolation hospital, and 8 deaths.[29]

21 March: A decision was made to suspend prayers in all of Egypt's mosques for a period of two weeks in order to limit the outbreak of the Corona virus based on the necessity of the legitimate and national interest.[30] The Coptic Orthodox Church also announced the closure of all churches and the suspension of ritual services, masses and activities to preserve the health of Egyptians from the danger of the spread of the coronavirus.[31]

22 March: On 22 March, the Ministry of Health and Population announced the increase in the number of cases whose laboratory results turned from negative to COVID-19 to 74, and the adviser of the Minister of Health and Population for Media Affairs and the official spokesperson of the ministry revealed that 15 of these cases had been left the Isolation Hospital, including 7 foreigners and 8 Egyptians, after receiving the necessary medical care under supervision of World Health Organization. So the number of those who recovered from the virus became 56 out of 74 cases. He also announced that cases have been in 24 out of the 27 Egyptian governorates.[32]

Moreover, it was announced that 33 new cases were detected, all of whom are Egyptians in contact with previously discovered and announced cases, 4 cases died: a 51-year-old citizen, an 80-year-old citizen, a 73-year-old citizen, and a 56-year-old citizen.[citation needed]The total number registered in Egypt from the new Corona includes 327 cases, including 56 who were cured and left the isolation hospital, and 14 deaths.[33]

April[edit source | edit]

April 4: Cases surpass 1000.[34]

May 2020[edit source | edit]

May 13: Egypt's Ministry of Health and Population has reported 347 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases recorded in Egypt since the beginning of the outbreak to 10,093. This marks an increase of nearly 3,000 cases since last week.

June 2020[edit source | edit]

Nile River cruise ship[edit source | edit]

MS River Anuket, pictured March 2018

On 6 March, the Egyptian Health Ministry and WHO confirmed 12 new cases of SARS-CoV-2.[35] The infected persons were among the Egyptian staff aboard a Nile River cruise ship, traveling from Aswan to Luxor. This ship is variously known as MS River Anuket[36] or Asara.[37] All those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 did not show any symptoms of the disease. According to tests, the virus spread from a Taiwanese-American female tourist on the ship.[38]

On 7 March, health authorities announced that 45 people on board had tested positive and that the ship had been placed in quarantine at a dock in Luxor.[36] On 9 March, the first international case from the cruise ship came after an American went home and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.[citation needed]

Cases traced to travel from Egypt[edit source | edit]

In addition to the confirmed cases within Egypt, there have been a number of documented cases that were detected in other countries and traced to travel from Egypt. The estimate of such cases was at least 97 cases at the end of February 2020, according to public health data and news reports.[39]

Country Number of cases
 United States 52[40]
 Canada 11[41][42]
 France 11[43]
 Hong Kong 9[44]
 Japan 2[45]
 Tunisia 2[11]
 Taiwan 1[46]
 Saudi Arabia 1[47]
Total 89

Government responses[edit source | edit]

Travel restrictions[edit source | edit]

The minister of aviation closed the airports and suspended all air travel, effective 19 March.[48] The decision to suspend flights in Egypt came into effect from 19 March until 31 March.[49]

Testing[edit source | edit]

As of March 25, the ministry of health announced that 25,000 PCR tests have been done.[50]

As of April 17- 55,000 PCR tests have been done [51]

As of April 23- 90,000 PCR tests have been done [52]

As of May 9- 105,000 PCR tests have been done [53]

Egypt now has more than 40 PCR testing equipment dispersed all over the country [54]

Censorship[edit source | edit]

Foreign media outlets have reported that certain individuals have been arrested for allegedly spreading false information about the coronavirus pandemic.[55][56]

Case estimates[edit source | edit]

Based partly on multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases in other countries being linked to travel in Egypt, infectious disease specialists from the University of Toronto, who studied the disparity between official and presumed infection rates, estimated the number of COVID-19 cases in Egypt to be between 6,270–45,070 presumed cases on 15 March 2020, a study which was reported on by various foreign media outlets, including British newspaper The Guardian and U.S. newspaper The New York Times.[39][57] This projected figure was far higher than the official count of 126 at the time. The Egyptian Ministry of Health dismissed this estimate as "completely false", and the ministry also said that it reports confirmed cases in the country with "full transparency".[57] A research paper was published by Egyptian scientists including the minister of health indicating that indeed some underestimation took place and the expected total number of patients with COVID-19 in Egypt, as of March 31, could be in the range of 710–5241 patients which can be 7 times higher than the recorded official number.[58]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Coronavirus in Africa tracker". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  2. Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is a coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. "Egypt announces first Coronavirus infection". Egypt Today. 14 February 2020. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  8. "Beijing orders 14-day quarantine for all returnees". BBC News. 14 February 2020. Archived from the original on 14 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  9. "Egypt's health ministry announces first confirmed coronavirus case". France 24. 14 February 2020. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  10. "Breaking: Egypt Reports First Case of Coronavirus". Egyptian Streets. 14 February 2020. Archived from the original on 15 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Derniere Minute – Vidéo : Trois nouveaux cas de coronavirus en Tunisie" [Last Minute – Video: Three new cases of coronavirus in Tunisia]. Tunisie Numerique (in French). 13 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  12. "Coronavirus latest: 3 new cases confirmed in Santa Clara County bringing county total to 7". 2 March 2020.
  13. "Coronavirus: France moves into 'new stage of epidemic' as number of cases rises to 100". Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  14. "Ontario confirms eighth coronavirus case is Toronto man who travelled to Egypt | National Post". 29 February 2020.
  15. "Coronavirus: Taiwan reports five new cases; total at 39". 29 February 2020. Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  16. "Egypt denies rumors of new coronavirus cases". Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  17. "Qatar bans travellers from Egypt over coronavirus fears | Qatar News | al Jazeera". Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  18. "Egypt detects second case of new coronavirus: Health ministry". Reuters. March 2020. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  19. Tuqa Khalid (2 March 2020). "Kuwait to 'double-check' all travelers from Egypt, Syria for coronavirus". Al Arabiya.
  20. "Coronavirus: More than 20 cases in Egypt despite government insistence there are only 2". Middle East Monitor. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  21. Hamburg, Hamburger Abendblatt- (10 March 2020). "Coronavirus: RKI meldet 1139 Fälle – Israel weist alle Touristen aus". www.abendblatt.de.
  22. "عاجل.. "الصحة العالمية": ارتفاع الحالات المصابة بكورونا في مصر إلى 56". الوطن. 9 March 2020.
  23. "مصدر بالسياحة: إصابة 3 من العاملين بفندق "فيرمونت" بكورونا". الوطن. 9 March 2020.
  24. "وزارة الصحة والسكان المصرية". www.facebook.com.
  25. "وزارة الصحة والسكان المصرية". www.facebook.com.
  26. "Fakhfakh: "Suspension de toutes les lignes maritimes et réduction importante des dessertes aériennes"" [Fakhfakh: "Suspension of all shipping lines and significant reduction of air services"]. kapitalis.com (in French). 13 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  27. "Coronavirus: Egypt detains novelist Ahdaf Soueif for demanding prisoners' release". Middle East Eye. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  28. "فيروس كورونا: حالة وفاة و46 إصابة جديدة في مصر وتزايد الإصابات في دول عربية" [Corona Virus: One death, 46 new infections in Egypt, and increasing infections in Arab countries] (in Arabic). BBC Arabic. 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  29. "الإجمالي 285 منهم 8 وفيات و29 إصابة جديدة.. آخر تطورات كورونا في مصر" [Corona's latest development in Egypt ... 285 total cases, including 8 deaths and 29 new infections]. CNN Arabic (in Arabic). 20 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  30. ""ألا صلوا في بيوتكم".. وزارة الأوقاف تقرر إغلاق جميع مساجد مصر" [Do not pray in your homes" .. The Ministry of Awqaf decides to close all mosques in Egypt]. rassd.com (in Arabic). 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  31. "إغلاق المساجد والكنائس.. المؤسسات الدينية "إيد واحدة" لمواجهة كورونا" [Closure of mosques and churches .. Religious institutions "one hand" to confront Corona]. www.elwatannews.com (in Arabic). 21 March 2020. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020.
  32. "الصحة: حالات كورونا تم اكتشافها بـ24 محافظة..وإجراءات الحكومة خفضت الإصابات". youm7.com. 22 March 2020.
  33. "تجاوزنا الـ300 حالة.. "الصحة": ارتفاع مصابي وفيات فيروس كورونا في مصر | المصري اليوم". www.almasryalyoum.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  34. "Egypt's coronavirus infection rate exceeds 1,000 on Saturday: Ministry of Health and Population". egyptindependent.com. 4 April 2020.
  35. "Twelve asymptomatic coronavirus cases registered on Nile cruise ship". Reuters. 6 March 2020.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Michael, Maggie; Magdy, Samy (7 March 2020). "Egypt says cruise ship quarantined over new virus cluster". Washington Post. AP.
  37. Raghavan, Sudarsan; Kornfield, Meryl (7 March 2020). "On the Nile, American tourists are among those quarantined on a ship hit by coronavirus". Washington Post.
  38. Walsh, Declan; Rashwan, Nada (7 March 2020). "On Nile Cruiser, 12 Crew Test Positive for Virus, and Egypt Fears Broader Outbreak". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Michaelson, Ruth (15 March 2020). "Egypt: rate of coronavirus cases 'likely to be higher than figures suggest'". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  40. Smith, Mitch; Harmon, Amy; Collins, Keith; McCann, Allison; Wu, Jin; Yourish, Karen. "Tracking Every Coronavirus Case in the U.S.: Full Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2020. Unknown parameter |last-author-amp= ignored (help)
  41. Dawson, Tyler (6 March 2020). "COVID-19 in Canada: What we know about the first 100 coronavirus cases — 67% are over 40". The National Post. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  42. Giles, David (12 March 2020). "Saskatchewan confirms first presumptive case of novel coronavirus". Global News. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  43. "Les vacanciers d'Egypte, le foyer de coronavirus le plus méconnu". France Inter (in French). 5 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  44. Siu, Phila; Leung, Kanis; Ting, Victor; Cheng, Lilian; Cheung, Elizabeth (11 March 2020). "Daily coronavirus tally for Hong Kong rises to 9, with all members of an Egypt tour now confirmed as infected, along with a Cathay Pacific flight attendant". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 14 March 2020. Unknown parameter |last-author-amp= ignored (help)
  45. "Couple in Saitama infected with virus after visiting Egypt". Arab News Japan. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  46. "Coronavirus: DNA test shows Taiwanese woman 'likely' caught COVID-19 in Egypt". Middle East Eye. 10 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  47. "بينهم مصري في مكة .. السعودية تعلن تسجيل خمس حالات إصابة جديدة بفيروس". Almarsd Online Newspaper (in Arabic). 9 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  48. "Egypt Shuts Down Airports, Suspends Air Travel: PM". 16 March 2020.
  49. "فيروس كورونا: حالة وفاة و46 إصابة جديدة في مصر وتزايد الإصابات في دول عربية" [Corona Virus: One death, 46 new infections in Egypt, and increasing infections in Arab countries] (in Arabic). BBC Arabic. 19 March 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  50. "وزيرة الصحة: أجرينا 25 ألف تحليل لكورونا بمصر.. و50%؜ من المصابين مخالطين – بوابة الشروق". www.shorouknews.com.
  51. "مصدر بالصحة: إجراء 55 ألف تحليل PCR فى مصر حتى الآن". youm7.com. 17 April 2020.
  52. "وزيرة الصحة: إجراء أكثر من 90 ألف تحليل بي سي ار لحالات مشتبه بإصابتها بكورونا". akhbarelyom.com. 23 April 2020.
  53. "كم تحليل بي سي ار اجرته مصر للكشف عن كورونا". almasryalyoum.com. 9 May 2020.
  54. "وزيرة الصحة عن ارتفاع الإصابات: "حتى الأسر اللي فيها إصابات كورونا لا تلتزم بالعزل" | المصري اليوم". www.almasryalyoum.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  55. "Reporting on the coronavirus: Egypt muzzles critical journalists". Deutsche Welle. 3 April 2020.
  56. "Egypt is more concerned with controlling information than containing the coronavirus". The Globe and Mail. 3 April 2020.
  57. 57.0 57.1 "Egypt withdraws accreditation of Guardian journalist over controversial coronavirus report". Ahram Online. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  58. Hassany, Mohamed; Abdel-Razek, Wael; Asem, Noha; AbdAllah, Mohamed; Zaid, Hala (27 April 2020). "Estimation of COVID-19 burden in Egypt". The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 0 (0). doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30319-4. PMID 32353346 – via www.thelancet.com.

External links[edit source | edit]