2020 coronavirus pandemic in Egypt
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The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Egypt is part of an ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The first case of COVID-19 in Egypt was confirmed on 14 February 2020. As of 31 March 2020 there have been 710 confirmed cases and 46 deaths.
|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Egypt|
Map of governorates with confirmed (red) or suspected (blue) coronavirus cases (as of 25 March)
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||14 February 2020 |
(1 month, 2 weeks and 5 days)
|Cases in 24 Governorates |
All flights from China to Egypt have been banned since 26 January. Egypt's health ministry announced the first case in the country at Cairo International Airport involving a Chinese national on 14 February. Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization (WHO) and the patient had been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital. Preventive measures were subsequently taken to monitor those who came into contact with the person where the others tested negative.
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) two cases in France, one case in Canada, and one case in Taiwan.
On 28 February, the Egyptian cabinet officially denied rumors of covering up SARS-CoV-2 cases. On 1 March, Qatar banned all arrivals from Egypt, excepting Qatari nationals, as a safety measure to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. On the same day, Egypt announced the detection of a second case of SARS-CoV-2. On 2 March, Kuwait announced that it would test all arrivals from Egypt and Syria for SARS-CoV-2. 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.
The World Health Organization said that there were 56 confirmed cases in Egypt. On the same day, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism said that they discovered 3 additional cases with three people who work in a hotel.
The Ministry of Health announced the second death from the virus and that the total number of cases stood at 80.
The Ministry of Health announced that one more case has recovered and 13 more have tested positive, bringing the total cases to 93. 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.
The minister of aviation decided to close the airports and suspend all air travel. This decision will go into effect on 19 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.
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.The decision excluded places that sell food, pharmacies and home delivery services. The decision to suspend flights in Egypt came into effect from 19 March until 31 March as well.
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.
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. 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 Corona virus.
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.
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.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.
Nile River cruise shipEdit
On 6 March, the Egyptian Health Ministry and WHO confirmed 12 new cases of SARS-CoV-2. The infected persons were among the Egyptian staff aboard a Nile River cruise ship, travelling from Aswan to Luxor. This ship is variously known as MS River Anuket or Asara. 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.
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. On 9 March, the first international case from the cruise ship came after an American went home and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Cases traced to travel from EgyptEdit
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.
|Country||Number of cases|
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 that the number of COVID-19 cases in Egypt to be between 6,270–45,070 presumed cases on 15 March 2020, which was reported on by British newspaper The Guardian and U.S. newspaper The New York Times. This unofficial count 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".
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